We all know very well how I love to organize things. Today I want to share another little layer with you: How I use, organize and label my CF cards!
I started using this method after attending a workshop and it made perfect sense to me!
The very first thing I do with my cards is label them. I write on the back of the cards the Month and Year they were purchased. Cards have a shelf life to them and its important to remember how old they are. Underneath that, I number them. 1, 2, 3, etc… This is the most important step. Why do this? Imagine you have your cards all tucked nice and neat into your card holder. You shoot an engagement session and use two of your cards. Before you are able to replace those cards in your holder, you shoot a couple images for blog posts on another card. Oh, and your dog is doing something funny so you grab another card and your camera and start shooting. The next day you load all the used cards onto your desktop and they lay there for a day. Then on Friday you take a self portrait for a series you are working on with your last card. Now, most your cards are used up and laying on your desk. You have a wedding that weekend so you clean them off and tuck them back into your holder. You shoot on 4 of the cards at the wedding. This sort of thing happens week after week. Without realizing it, you are more than likely OVER using some of your cards, and UNDER using others. This can be dangerous because as we know, cards have shelf lives. You are more likely to have a card corrupt if this is your system. You should be balancing clicks between all your cards to create a level playing field for yourself and your cards shelf life. The best way to do this is to number cards, and use them in that order. This way you don’t have 10,000 Clicks on Card 4 and 60,000 Clicks on Card 1.
- Card 1 & 2: Engagement Shoot that week
- Card 3: Blog pictures for a couple posts.
- Card 4 & 5: Newborn Shoot
- Card 6, 1, 2, & 3: Wedding that weekend
- Card 4: Pictures of your cat
I store all my cards in my Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket. There are a lot of different cases out there, so do some research and pick one that you think will work for you. Maybe you shoot at the beach a lot and having a waterproof case is important! Or, maybe you shoot a lot of pictures and need one that stores multiple cards. Or, maybe you travel a lot and a crush proof case is the one for you. Don’t just pick one because your favorite photographer uses it. Really consider what is best for you.
And, lastly, just because there may be someone out there reading who doesn’t know this yet…ALWAYS format your cards before use. ALWAYS. Don’t take a card out of the camera, and put it back in without formatting it. Don’t take a card out of a friend’s camera, stick it in yours, and start shooting. You may do this a lot and its fine, but at some point its going to come back and bite you. Format your cards regularly.
Do you have a system for your CF cards? Is it similar to this, or completely different? I’d love to hear about it!!