What I Do To Start Off the New Year

by | Jan 13, 2024 | Pic of the Month, Tips & Tricks | 1 comment

It’s the time of year for organizing photos!

Now that it’s January, all the photos in the previous year that will be taken, have been taken. No more photos will be added to 2023. So, it’s time to make sure those photos are all correctly organized, filled away properly into the archives, and room freed up for a new year of photos!

Here are 8 things I like to do to finish up the previous year.

1. Verify filenames are all up to date.

Even though I have a filenaming preset applied to all photos at import, there’s are always photos that somehow slip through the cracks. This year, I discover two photos that I am sure I had taken that had Lydia Bennett’s name in the filename. Open-mouthed smile This was one of them:

231115_James Staddon_ Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16 mm, 1-10 sec at f - 11, ISO 50

2. Verify the correct metadata preset is assigned to each photo.

This is the metadata that I like to have assigned to each photo that I have taken in my portfolio:


At the end of the year, I select all the photos that are mine and apply my metadata preset to them.

I have similar presets set up for other people that have pictures in my Lightroom catalog. Various folks help as a second photographer for weddings, so I make sure their metadata presets are applied to their photos.

3. Verify all location fields are up to date.

Throughout the year, I manually enter the Sublocation, City, State, and Country for each photo shoot. At the end of the year, I can manually check to see if there are any photos that have an unknown location:


This year, while taking care of the photos that had avoided being tagged, I ran across an interesting problem. Not a single photo in 2023 had the State tag “Delaware”. And I had photographed an entire wedding in Delaware! There should be hundreds, if not thousands, of photos with “Delaware” as their location. Digging deeper, I realized that not only was there no trace of that wedding in Lightroom, there were no folders that contained any of the random photos that I had taken surrounding the wedding. Before the wedding, I clearly remember taking photos during a stroll through historic Dover. Not a single one of those photos could be found.

If I had not taken the time to verify all the location fields for the previous year, who knows when I would have discovered this problem! Thankfully, tucked away in a folder on an external hard drive, there they all were. I figured out the reason for the mistake and will not plan to repeat it ever again. Smile

230707_James Staddon_6258 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16 mm, 1-50 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 400

There we go, that’s more like it.


4. Delete all Reject Flag photos.

As I edit photos over the course of a year, I utilize Lightroom’s flagging system to help with the initial sorting. If a photo has potential, I give it a Pick Flag. If it’s an obviously bad photo, then I give it a Reject Flag. When editing a folder of photos, I don’t delete anything right away because you never know how in the course of the entire editing process you may decide a rejected photo may actually not be so rejectable. However, by the end of the year, the likelyhood of wanting to use photos that have been rejected is very low. So, I get rid of them all!

This past year, I had over 500 photos marked with a Reject Flag. By deleting them, I saved myself over 15GB of hard drive space!


5. Move past photos onto external hard drives.

I only store the current years’ photos on my local computer. All other photos get put on external hard drives. This allows me to have quick access to photos I likely want to edit, while keeping my computer hard drive clean and relatively empty of photos. Moving the previous year’s photos off onto an external hard drive is something that I’ll usually do at this time of year.


6. Run backups!

Once all the photos have been moved off of my computer, I run backups of those external hard drives. At the end of the day, it means I have a lot of external hard drives for archiving and backing things up, but it sure eliminates a lot of headache and heartache in the future! I explain my backup process in the How To Share Your Photos With The World course, Section 1.


7. Remove old photos I no longer want in my portfolio.

Now that my hard drives are all in order, I can turn my attention to my portfolio. I’ll take a bit of time to sort through the albums that are currently showcased and ask myself if any photos aren’t good enough any more for my standards. If not, I remove them.

230721_James Staddon_0803 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 59 mm, 1-1600 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 1250

8. Add new photos to the portfolio.

With past, less-than-best photos weeded out from the portfolio, I can now add any new photos from the previous year that I hadn’t already added! This usually means going through folders of photos I never got around to sorting through to pick out and edit the best ones for display on the portfolio.

I haven’t done this yet for 2023, but I’m looking forward to doing so in preparation for assembling next year’s calendar!

230723_James Staddon_1022 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24 mm, 1-125 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 400

Sunset On Pine Mountain
Pine Mountain Trail, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Virginia
Download as a free desktop background in the next Latest from Lenspiration update (subscribe)

I want to learn from you!

What sort of things do you do at the beginning of the year to get organized and prepared for another year of photography? I’d love to learn from your experience. Feel free to share your tips in the comments below!

Get each article as soon as it goes live!

Recommended Ebook

1 Comment

  1. Lydia Bennett

    Haha, I can assure you I didn’t take that first photo! It sure is beautiful!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send the next blog post straight to your email inbox!

Thank you for subscribing!