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Specifying Folder Names During Import

The first opportunity that you have to organize your photos comes when you import your photos from your camera or from your memory cards into your computer.

The photo import functions built into Windows Live Photo Gallery, Picasa, and Photoshop Elements provide options for storing your photos in different folders with folder naming options (see Figure 3) such as

  • The date the photographs were taken
  • A custom name that you supply
  • Today’s date

Figure 3 Folder naming options in Picasa.

Of these options, I recommend a custom name that you provide, such as the location of the photos, the event, the subject, or similar. You can find your photos by date with any of these programs, so you really don’t need to include the date as part of the folder name.

You have more decisions to make if you have different subjects, events, or locations on your memory card. In these situations, you should create a separate folder for each subject, event, or location. Windows Live Photo Gallery makes it easy to organize your pictures in this way because it has a slider that allows you to select the amount of time between each group of photos (Figure 4); each group of photos is stored in a separate folder.

Figure 4 Grouping photos by date in Windows Live Photo Gallery.

If your import program doesn’t have a grouping function, you can place your pictures different folders manually (Figure 5) by following these steps:

  1. Select the photos for a particular activity.
  2. Select the folder name to use for those photos.
  3. Import the photos.
  4. To import other photos, rerun the import process.

Figure 5 Selecting photos to import using Adobe Photoshop Elements.

By using folders named for the location, event, or activity, you have begun the process of organizing your pictures. However, if you want to find particular individuals, activities, or locations, you might find that adding tags will be even more helpful in tracking down the pictures that you want.

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