Emerald Rue

Storing Digital Files

  • Jul 29, 2020

Storing Digital Files

Congratulations on securing beautiful digital images and films of your family! Now that your session is complete, what the heck do you do with all these digital files?

Downloading the image and film digital files can take up a lot of space on your computer. Plus, it can be hard to remember where the heck they end up. Are they in the Photos folder? Are they in the Downloads folder? Did they disappear into the depths of hard drive purgatory?

Let’s fix this once and for all.

Step 1: Download Files

First, log into your gallery. All information to do so was sent in an email. Search your inbox for jen@emeraldrue.com to locate the email. Next, download all images. For detailed information on how to do this, visit this page.

Also included in the email was a link to download the film. Download the 1080p version for keeps. Download the 720p version for social media sharing.

Then, locate the files on your computer. They are likely in a folder called Downloads.

Step 2: Organize

Secondly, create a new folder. Name it with the date and a description (see my example below). Then, dump all digital photos and films from one event into this folder. DO NOT put any files into this folder that aren’t directly related to this event.

I do this for all of my work and personal photos/films. This little trick has saved me time by eliminating the guessing game.

Example Folder Name:  2020-08-01-Summer Professional Images

Tip: Always put the year first. Keep the naming format the same for all folders going forward. The folders will automatically sort in order, making your life easier. Trust me on this one.

Step 3: Store

Last, and most importantly, let’s get these files backed up! I recommend filing folders in two places, in case one fails. Neither place is your computer’s hard drive because clogging your computer’s storage space will cause it to run slower. Instead, store once online and once on an external hard drive. Then, delete the files from your computer.

  1. Online: Upload the properly labeled folder to an online storage site. Google Drive (free with a Gmail account), Dropbox, and One Drive (free with an Outlook account) are all excellent choices. Depending on the size of your upload, you may need to pay a small fee for storage. The fee is as low as $1.99 per month. It’ll be worth it to have you precious memories safe from computer malfunction or fire. Once stored online, you can easily access and download any image you’d like to print or share.
  2. External Hard Drive: After that, transfer the folder to an external hard drive. External hard drives work like a storage space for any digital content. Do not let this become a messy second version of your computer. Keep it organized with the folder system described above. My recommendations are linked below.
    After files are transferred, let’s make sure the hard drive stays safe. Remember this is destructible technology. Properly dismount the hard drive before disconnecting it from your computer. Also, be sure to store in a safe place (perhaps a safe?). Do not drop or hastily toss it on the counter. Hard drives can fail, so handle with care.


Now that you have your professional photos and films backed up and safe, it’s time to celebrate! Do a happy dance!

Gone are the days of printing every photo and storing them in countless albums. Set aside time to complete the steps above each time an important event occurs. This includes personal trips, a fun day with family or everyday life.

Properly storing digital files is an important step to ensure your family’s legacy is safe and accessible for generations. Stick with the folder system to allow you to locate images years from now with ease. It also becomes a handy timeline of life events!

Please contact me or comment below with any questions.