Transferring digital photos seems like a very simple operation. Most photographers think that they just plug in their camera and then just transfer their pictures from their camera to their computer. However, they don’t know where the new photos are on their computer and they do not know how to find them. When they need to organize their digital pictures they are very confused and frustrated. Read on to find out a few simple steps to prepare and automate your transfer digital photos.
1. Prepare Your Computer for Transfer
There are some preparation steps that are very important in order to transfer your digital photos efficiently. These preparation steps are to be performed only once. So this makes them easy but also very important.
A few preparation steps are necessary before transferring your photos from your camera to your computer
2. Establish your Main Media Library
You need to identify one main computer (device) that stores all your photos and videos. This is your gold copy, or master library.
Your main computer needs lots of storage space. It may be a desktop or laptop computer with plenty of space for storage. It can also be a large external hard drive if you do not have room on a computer.
Then, you think about all your other devices as devices for taking or showing photos. This is more of a mental check as only you can enforce this division.
3. Create a Transfer Folder and Supporting Folders
Have all your digital photos store in ONLY ONE folder on your MAIN computer. You will create other folders inside, but all your digital photos on your MAIN computer must be stored inside ONLY ONE folder.
On Windows XP,7 and 10 use
My Pictures while on Mac and Windows 8 use
Pictures as you top-level folder.
Create a separate area for transferring new photos from all your devices.
My Pictures (Pictures on Mac) 00-TRANSFER – folder for transferring all your new photos
4. Create Supporting Folders
In addition to the specific TRANSFER folder, you also need to create a few supporting folders that match your photo collection. For example, in my case, I only have a few supporting folders as I like to keep things simple.
My Pictures (Pictures on Mac) 00-TRANSFER – folder for transferring all your new photos 01-FAMILY - main storage for all my original pictures 02-EXPORT - for edited photos created for specific purposes
5. Automate your transfer process with your software
Depending on the software you are using, you can configure it to transfer all new photos into the TRANSFER folder automatically.
To accomplish this goal, configure your software using the following steps:
- Bring up your software settings panel.
- Find the settings for “transfer” or “download”
- Find the option where you can specify which folder to save your photos in. Enter the path to your TRANSFER folder.
- Make sure you check the option to create a sub-folder for each date.
You can accomplish this in FastStone, Lightroom, ACDSee as well as Picasa (if you still use it). Unfortunately iPhoto, Photos and Image Capture on the Mac do not support this feature.
Preparing Goes a Long Way
Doing a few preparation steps will go a long way towards being able to automate the process for transferring photos from your camera (phone and stand-alone) to your computer. Knowing where your photos go will help you be at ease with your organization method.
Essentials for organizing your digital photosHere are the essential products and services I have come to rely on for many years to keep my media collection organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.
Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you're looking for a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac (60% off until October 7, 2020) or ACDSee Pro for Windows is my preferred solution for organizing your media on your computer. It has a very fast browser, beautiful image editing capabilities and you don't work with catalogs at all.
If you do a lot of image editing like I do, I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has excellent photo editing capabilities. Yes, Lightroom has a steeper learning curve as you have to learn to keep your catalogs in sync with your hard drive. But if do image editing, Adobe Lightroom is my favorite.
I recommend Backblaze Cloud Backup for affordable & reliable unlimited cloud backup. I have been using Backblaze for backing up all pictures & videos for more than 4 years now. All my invaluable digital memories are safe and secure.
In addition, make sure you have an inexpensive and reliable external hard drive for backing everything up. It is absolutely essential for backing up your media regularly.