File Structure and Storage

An important consideration for any photographer is file storage — where and how should you be storing the images you’ve shot?

From transferring images to your computer to organising file structures and storage device options, this class provides an overview of some of the most important considerations for storing your photos. You’ll also see what storage solutions we use in the studio as Karl explains his workflow, storage preferences for photo and video, and backup procedures.


  1. I am curious about the asset capacity of your 14 TB * 12 Hard drives.. What is the client info stored on the array… I.E. what is the percentage of all data available vs the client’s actual volume stored… 14TB*12 units is a Hard Drive volume of 172 TB.. but with redundance for insurance, how much are you actually able to store when you are at full capacity? Thanks…

  2. Coming from an IT background (and moving to photography), it can’t be reiterated enough what Karl said that RAID is not the same as a backup. Should two drives fail, then the RAID is usually uncoverable.

    You may think “What is the chance of that?” – Well – what can happen is a drive fails, and during the rebuild of a new drive, the continuous demand on the other drives can cause an additional failure.

    Another thing I have always done when building a new RAID system is to NOT buy all my drives at the same time (or if at the same time, from different retailers). Reason being, if there is a faulty batch or higher fail rate on a particular serial batch, I don’t want all those drives in my RAID at the same time! I have had a pair of drives fail within a month of each other in the past, and it is not good… believe me 🙂

    Finally – If you do ever have a drive fail, don’t panic! Most drives, whether old style HDD or newer SSDs have a storage element and a controller element – and a lot of the time its the controller that fails, meaning your data can be recovered. There are companies that can help with this.

    Thanks Karl, great video 🙂

  3. If using a date in the file name, it’s best to use the format YYYY MM DD at the start of the file/folder name, because then sorting alphabetically will put them in date order!

    Any other format will mix the dates up really crazy if sorted alphabetically.

  4. I really congratulate you for your courses! I’m taking advantage of them.
    What do you think about cloud storage?
    There are several alternatives such as iDrive or OneBackup.

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