Road to Becoming a Stock Photographer – Archiving & Indexing

Do you own a portfolio?  You may have a huge collection of photographs in your hard disk, storing frames after frames of decisive moments, sweet memories, delicious food, breathtaking landmarks, mesmerizing sunsets etc.  You may also have a lot of photos during you previous exotic trips, relaxing beach side retreat…  but my guess is they are separated in folders named after “Hawaii Trip 2011”, “Christmas Party 2009” etc.  They may be named as IMG_1457, IMG_1458.  After a while, say a year’s time, you start to lose track of your photos.

So what can you do?  My suggestion is to get yourself a program like Lightroom, Bridge or Aperture to index your photos.  Maybe start with the objects/people in the picture, the colour, the theme of each photo.  For example for my photo on the top, my key words will be “flower, white, rain drops, grass”. Also start naming your folders with “Event_DDMMMYY_Camera” or any name which you can easily recognise in the future.

So why bother?  In this digital age, we generally take many photos, especially during our leisure trips, sometimes easily over 1000 photos each trip.  After a few getaways, you will soon be overwhelmed by the sheer number of photos in your computers.  With some good workflow/habit, you will help yourself for future browsing, just like keeping your bookshelf tidy and in some sort of order.

This idea is especially essential for photographers who are thinking about getting into the industry, being a freelancer or just to sell a few stock photos.  Let’s start building your own filing system!