There's this quality that I bet a ton of other creatives share...
It's a sense of being super-crazy-insanely into something one minute, and then moving on to the next thing right away. From a photography perspective, it's great for getting home from a wedding and itching to sit down and work on it, but it's not so great when it comes time at the end of the season to update your portfolio.
The thought of looking back through hundreds of client folders on your computer is especially daunting. Suddenly you can barely remember the engagement sessions you shot in the Spring, and you're mixing up 2014 and 2015 weddings and making your head hurt.
It's so easy to feel "done" with portions of your work as soon as you've finished them, but I've created a little system that really helps me organize my work in preparation for off-season.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR USING A PORTFOLIO FOLDER:
1. Right at the very top of my destop there's a folder that I use for portfolio images, and I add to it after almost every shoot. Even if it's just 5 or 6 photos from an event, if the photo moves me...it goes in the folder.
2. If you see a photo that you think might be useful later for a particular blog post, make a copy in a folder within the portfolio, labeled for its intended future use.
For example, I recently put together a post with tips for taking better ring shots. When the inspiration hit me to sit down and create that post, I already had a folder with all of my favourite rings ready to go.
Some helpful subfolders to get your juices flowing: ring shots, invitation shots, future business cards, Facebook cover photos, future canvasses for studio, etc.
3. While you're editing a wedding, take advantage of the colour flagging tool in Lightroom:
In this example, I'm editing Amanda & Ron's beautiful wedding at Temples Sugar Bush in Ferguson Falls, and during the edit I've flagged 5 photos from their bride and groom formals and labelled them in blue.
Once my edits are complete, I can filter all of the blue flags from the entire collection, and save that batch to my portfolio folder in about 20 seconds.
My portfolio folder has a combination of all of my favourite engagement and wedding photos from the past few years. And since I've saved the photos by client name, the engagement photos will line up right beside the wedding ones :)
Having this system in place makes it WAY easier to update the galleries on my website, and in fact, I usually find time to update a few photos at the end of every month during busy season. It keeps my site fresh and Google loves me for it.