The best backup and organisational practice to improve your photography workflow

In Digital Photography 'workflow' is a term used to describe the steps taken from planning a photography project through to sharing online, publishing or delivering your images to a client. Two of the key elements to ensuring a smooth workflow in digital photography are managing your files and backing up your photographs.

  • 1) Organising your work

    It’s easy to become disorganised when you’re dealing with many creative projects. Poor organisation of files can be detrimental to a smooth workflow. There are many helpful and simple steps to improve your photography workflow by organising your files.

    Consistency is key, and by having a logical technique that you use every time - you can really improve your efficiency as a photographer.

  • 2) Culling your images

    The beauty of digital photography is the nearly unlimited number of images you can take in a day. A great discipline to improve your workflow is to delete unwanted images as you go. A laborious task, it’ll help you later on so that you’re not sifting through hundreds of poor-quality images – plus you'll save a lot of disk space.

3) Filenames

Most digital cameras will allow you to choose a filename and number sequencing for your images. You can also use many packages like Photo Mechanic, which will allow you to bulk rename your work when copied onto your computer.

Take advantage of this by creating a consistent naming system for your files, allowing for easier navigation and organisation later.

  1. Firstly, come up with something that identifies you – the photographer. Perhaps by placing your initials at the start of each file.
  2. Next, a name or short name for your project
  3. Shooting in various locations? Add these next.
  4. Followed by a number.
  5. Example: MC-CliftCams-XmasParty-45.jpg

Man looking at photograph

4) Building your image library

To avoid overlapping clearly identify each of your creative projects. Long searches for specific images can be easily prevented by creating an organised filing system using folders and subfolders.

We’d advise breaking down a tree of subfolders as follows:

Year/Month > Project > Sub Project/Location > File Type (Video/Photo etc.)

There is no perfect organisational system. However, any system is better than no system. Develop one that best that suits you. 

5) Backup your photographs

Now you’re organised, it’s time to back up your images! Backup is key for great photography workflow, and good practice will ensure that you never do the same job twice. It's absolutely crucial for weddings and events where there is no second chance!

Two cards are better than one

This is your first option to start backing up your work. If your camera has two SD card slots, use them both. As a team of amateur and professional photographers at Clifton Cameras - we’ve nearly all experienced disaster here; corrupted cards, holes in pockets and even cases of them being eaten by the dog. Don’t let it happen to you.

Memory cards are an affordable lifesaver; check out our range of SD cards.

6) Backup on the go with the LaCie DJI Copilot

An exciting collaboration by LaCie and DJI, the Copilot is any travelling photographer's new best friend when it comes to backup and playback.

This smart, portable drive means you no longer need to carry a computer to back up your image and video files. The LaCie DJI Copilot is a 2TB portable backup drive that features a helpful SD card slot. The Copilot can copy files directly from your card and even directly from cameras and drones, allowing you to back up in the field without a computer.

This product is no longer available - View more Memory Storage Drives here >

  • LaCie DJI Copilot Portable Backup Storage with DJI Inspire Drone

    The LaCie DJI Copilot can copy files directly from your card and even directly from cameras and drones, allowing you to back up in the field without a computer.

  • LaCie DJI Copilot

    You can also connect a mobile device using the DJI BOSS app to playback and better organise the files on the go. You can even download images to the device and share your work with clients, or put up an almost compulsory mid-shoot social media post.

7) Long-term portable storage

Whether you need your backups for meeting clients or as a safe place to keep your photographs and videos long term. LaCie and Samsung provide reliable portable storage solutions for all needs and budgets. Here are two of our most popular options:

  • LaCie Rugged USB-C Drive

    This drive does exactly what it says on the tin. These tough USB drives are crush and shock-resistant and great at facing the elements, reducing the risk of harm. Being fitted with the latest in USB connectivity, USB-C they’ll work with a broad range of devices making them great for meeting clients and more. This drive is available with 1TB, 2TB, 4TB and 5TB of drive space.

  • Samsung T7 Touch 500GB SSD - Black

    Samsung T7 Touch 500GB SSD - Black

    Experience superior read and write speeds with the super-fast Samsung T7 Touch SSD drive. This sleek device is ultra-portable and robust, surviving drops of up to 2 meters without data loss. Have up to 4 fingerprints registered to unlock the drive for additional security that fits in the palm of your hand. Choose from two stylish colours for a hard drive to suit your daily needs.

See our full range of memory and portable storage devices.

  • By Matthew Clarke
  • 13 Dec 2018

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