minutes per mile blog

how i back up, edit, & organize my blog photos

Morning! It’s still freezing cold and icy here so to the treadmill I went. Blah!0220150655I took it pretty easy since I sprinted yesterday and have a long run tomorrow. My final long run before my half marathon! Given the weather in Nashville I am super excited to head to Florida next week :)

Moving right along… I want to talk about the thrilling topic of photo management today!

The other day Sarah asked about how I organize/back up my blog photos and I thought: what an interesting and super nerdy topic! It’s taken me years to figure out the way to best manage my thousands of blog photos, and I finally can say that I have a system that works. (For me, at least.)0220150754I know one of the hardest things about blogging is simply finding time to do it — so, finding time for photo management on top of that can be really annoying! But I recommend you start organizing your photos soon and organizing them regularly. It’ll save you loads of time and stress in the future. Here’s how I back up, edit, and organize my photos. Maybe the same or a similar process will work for you!

1. Import photos using Picasa or iPhoto. I’ve used both iPhoto and Picasa, and have to say that I prefer Picasa. Both are good, though! I import using a 1GB memory stick (small! I know. I like using small ones because it forces you to upload and delete regularly) from my DSLR as well as using the cord from my phone.

In the import tab, I select the day’s photos and choose “import selected.” Don’t delete when imported!How_I_Organize_Blog_Photos_1

2. Choose your best photos. Edit, star, and tag them. You can see that I chose two photos of my beet juice from the other day. I tweaked the lighting and saturation on them, tagged them, and then used Picasa’s star tool to help me separate them from the not-as-good photos (great for when you have 20+ photos to go through). Do not get lazy when it comes to tagging your photos! Tags are pretty much the only way you’ll ever be able to quickly locate a photo in the future.How_I_Organize_Blog_Photos_2

3. Export low-res versions of the starred photos. If you hit the star button at the top of each Picasa folder in the gallery, it will automatically select all photos with a star. I typically export my photos to a location like My Photos –> Picasa –> Date. You can determine how/where to export photos in your settings. I export at normal quality, 800 pixels. Don’t export high-quality, super-pixelated photos. They’ll slow down your site and take up all of your blog’s storage space…How_I_Organize_Blog_Photos_3

4. Rename your files and then upload them to your blog’s media library. For photos that I think have some SEO value, I give them logical names that Google can interpret. For example, I added “beet_juice” to the front of these images’ filenames so that they’ll rank higher in image search results and the post will rank higher in web search results. Then, I upload the photos to my media library. *For more SEO value, add alt text to your uploads within the media library. Sometimes I do this, sometimes I forget! How_I_Organize_Blog_Photos_5

5. Now that you’ve uploaded your photos to your blog, it’s time to back up the originals. Like I’ve mentioned before, I invested in an external hard drive to do this. _DSC0049When you import photos through Picasa, Picasa auto-saves all of your original, full-size photos in a separate folder. I’ve adjusted my settings so that these original files are saved in a “My Photos” folder with sub-folders auto-created by date.

Once you’re in the folder where your original (unedited) photos are saved, you can start moving them to your hard drive. I personally only save “good” photos to my hard drive in an effort to save space. And I use tags to identify which photos are worth saving vs. those that are not. For example, of the eight photos I took of my beet juice, I only think that two are worth saving for the future.I mean, do I really need EIGHT photos of beet juice?!  I indicated these “good” photos by tagging them in Picasa, and Picasa assigns these tags to both the low-res exported versions of the photos as well as the original, full-size, unedited files. How_I_Organize_Blog_Photos_6

Now, drag and drop your tagged/good images over to your external hard drive. I have my external drive organized by year and month so that I can easily search and sort my photos. I’ll drag these two beet juice images over to the February folder. How_I_Organize_Blog_Photos_7


6. You’ve done it! Your blog library now holds edited, tagged, low-res versions of your photos; and your external hard drive has unedited, tagged, high-res originals backed up forever. At this point, I go back and delete the originals off of my memory stick and hard drive, and also delete the exported low-res versions off of my hard drive as well. Keep it clean!How_I_Organize_Blog_Photos_8 Phew! Seems like a lot but it seriously takes me about 3-5 minutes a day to do all of that. It’s all about establishing an editing/tagging rhythm!

Happy blogging and have a great weekend!

  • Other bloggers: What’s your blog editing/saving process like?
  • Have you ever deleted/lost important files?
  • Tips for not getting bored on a treadmill?

12 thoughts on “how i back up, edit, & organize my blog photos

  1. Thanks for the informative tutorial!
    To prevent boredom on the treadmill, I play with speed and incline to break up the run in chunks. I’ve been doing the bulk of my training this winter on the treadmill, so I consider it “mental training” to log hours on the treadmill.

  2. This was a good overview. Thanks! I am a hot mess when it comes to organizing my life in general, photo library included, so I dump everything in iPhoto.
    I love that you followed beet juice pictures for this :)

  3. Three straight days on the treadmill for me, so I’ve been using time intervals, with rolling hills, to keep me motivated. It’s way less boring than just running at a steady pace for 30+ minutes, and actually makes the time go by faster because I have to focus on running and adjusting my speed and incline with each interval.

  4. This is the reminder I needed…I need a process.
    Thankfully, I haven’t lost files…yet.
    Treadmill boredom is real! I adjust incline, pace, listen to music, and watch tv. If it’s a long run, I cover the screen with a towel so I won’t watch the clock.

  5. Wow – that tutorial was awesome. It would probably take me 10 years to figure all that out on my own. I’ve only recently stepped up my game to actually import pictures from my phone to my computer and combine them in appropriate albums with my camera photos. Maybe I should start with baby steps and tag my photos.

    • glad you found it helpful! i unfortunately had to learn the hard way (i.e., i lost like 1000000 photos) so hope i can help others avoid the same mistakes! happy photo-organizing!

  6. My process is pretty similiar. I use Lightroom for blog photos and import into individual post sub-folders. The naming scheme is sooo important for SEO! Backup, backup, backup. I say this as last week I hadn’t done it in a while and ended up losing a hundred or so recent post-worthy photos. Blah! Now, my laptop backs up every night while I dream of cupcakes and such.

  7. This is amazing, and thank you so much for sharing! Do you know how long I have been meaning to read thoroughly and comment? So long that I wrote it in may agenda this week so I would do it. I am going to share this in my link love this weekend – so much great information!

    What I have learned is I am backing up and saving my photos all wrong – amateur status! Time to get to work on that…

    • oh, i’m glad you appreciated it! the main points are basically 1-make sure you back up the full-res (not optimized) versions of your photos and 2- TAG! tags are annoying but so necessary. i was an amateur for years :)