Subfolder Organization

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Today’s Question: How do you feel about making subfolders to identify the different parts of a photo shoot?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I generally prefer to use a very streamlined folder structure, and therefore prefer not to create subfolders to segment photos from a single photo shoot or trip. Instead, I prefer to use keywords or other metadata updates to enable segments of the photo shoot to be filtered from the full group of images.

More Detail: As noted in a previous edition of the Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter, I prefer to keep all photos and videos captured during a given photo shoot or trip in the same folder. Taking that a step further to address today’s question, I also prefer that all of the photos and videos be stored in a single folder, rather than in subfolders.

My basic rationale here is that I want to make it as easy as possible to review my photos, without creating any unnecessary impediments to my workflow. To be sure, you could certainly create various subfolders for a photo shoot, and then select multiple folders to browse. But to me this adds a degree of complexity, in that you are using two different mechanisms to increase versus decrease the number of photos you are currently viewing.

So, I prefer to segment my photos through the use of metadata. I keep all photos from a given shoot or trip in a single folder. I then add star ratings to identify my favorite images. I will further refine photos for many trips through the use of keywords or other metadata.

Some photographers prefer to create folders for each day of a multi-day trip so they can segment their photos by date. But you can simply filter by date based on the date and time metadata values. Some photographers prefer to segment by category, such as a wedding photographer who might create folders for photos from the ceremony versus the reception. I prefer to use keywords for this type of scenario.

To be sure, you can define an efficient and meaningful workflow by using subfolders rather than keywords or other metadata to segment your photos. My personal preference, however, is to streamline my folder structure and focus on metadata for segmentation.