When I started shooting in RAW, I had to completely revamp how I was loading, storing, and organizing my pictures. I needed a system that recognized my photo format. I downloaded Adobe Bridge and I have been more organized than ever since!
Note: This is also great is your images are saved as JPGs! I just simply didn’t discover this till I made the switch to RAW. You do NOT have to shoot RAW to use Adobe Bridge!
Before, I used iPhoto or Photos on my MacBook. But the problem with iPhoto was that it stored them as JPEGs. This is absolutely awesome if I wanted to go straight to printing them. But I always give my photos a little boost with editing. Whenever I wanted to edit them, I had to export the original file to my desktop and then open it in Photoshop. I could get what I needed, but I had to apply a couple extra steps to open the CR2 RAW file in Adobe Camera RAW rather than a simple JPG.
Then enters Adobe Bridge. Did you know that it is completely free to download?! It’s not included in the Photoshop package. You don’t even have to have an Adobe product to download it! It’s just simply free.
So anyway, here’s exactly how I load store and organize my photos for easy reference through out the year!
How to organize your photos in Adobe Bridge:
1. Import photos from device.
You actually have two options: You can “get photos from camera” (shown below), or you can “import from device.”
Since Bridge wouldn’t recognize my old camera, I actually got used to importing from device. I like it because I can easily select which photos to import and which to leave out. Simple click on the photos you wish to import and click “download.” Or if you just want to download the whole batch, click “download all.”
2. Place them in a new folder.
I am loving my new folder system! Adobe Bridge automatically loads them into my pictures folder. Once in my Picture folder, I have them organized to look like this:
Pictures -> January -> At Home / First Snow / To Edit
So within every month I have folders for each event, plus one for the photos I take around the house. I immediately drag the photos to their appropriate folder.
Then, in each month, I also have a folder for photos “To Edit.” Honestly, that’s my “Favorites” folder. As I scroll though my photos, I move my favorites over to my “To Edit” folder and edit them as I please.
3. Double click the photo to edit in Photoshop.
As you can see, the photos are actually just saved to the “pictures” folder on my computer. But Adobe Bridge makes it easy to sort, view and open the photos in Photoshop. All you need to do to open photos in Photoshop is double click your photo you wish to edit. If it’s a RAW format, it will open in Adobe Camera RAW first, and if it’s a JPG format, it will open straight to Photoshop.
4. Organize edited photos.
Once I have edited my photos I have the same folder system.
Pictures -> Edited Photos 2017 -> January -> At Home / First Snow / etc.
Since I don’t have much to show for 2017 or January yet, I’m showing you my December folder above. My photos typically get organized based on blog posts, but you can easily organize them according to your events.
And I usually keep the current month on my desktop for easy access.
5. Delete photos from camera.
I used to automatically delete as I imported, but I stopped when I switched to Adobe Bridge simply because there is no box to keep checked like there was in iPhoto. BUT, this keeps me on top of reformatting my camera card!
You are supposed to reformat your card often anyway, and when you do, it deletes all the photos off your camera. So whenever it’s time to delete photos and I have them loaded and filed on my computer, I go on my camera and follow these steps:
Menu (the button) -> Scroll over to the Wrench -> Scroll down to Format Card -> Click OK
Then you reformat your card and delete all your pictures!