Ep 110. Simple Workflows to Tackle File Management with Nathan Holritz

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Do you struggle with storage and tech issues as a photographer?

Today, my guest is Nathan Holritz, owner and Founder of Photographer’s Edit and host of the Bokeh Podcast.

Nathan is a father of two based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We will be talking about some of the computer tech troubles that we as photographers constantly struggle with and he will share some tips and solutions to manage your workflow and make your work easier. So let’s dive in!

Ashley: Hey Nathan, welcome to the show! I am so excited to have you here today and cannot wait to talk to you about some of the computer tech troubles that I hear so many photographers are struggling with. But before we dive in, can you tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do and who you live with?

Nathan: Hey Ashley! Thanks for having me on the show. For some listening it maybe is a little bit of a nerdy topic. But the funny thing is, we all have to deal with it and the less efficient that we are in managing that aspect of our workflow, the more time that we have to spend behind a computer and as a business owner, that’s the last thing that we want. So hopefully this will be helpful to some listening in today. So I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I’m a single dad, two kids. My day-to-day life kind of revolves around running Photographers Edit, my editing company that I started back in 2008. I also host the Bokeh Podcasts, over 500 episodes of content centered around helping photographers build sustainable businesses. We’re in the process right now also of launching a brand new company, hopefully going live in May or June of this year. Top secret! Can’t say a whole lot.

Ashley: That’s Awesome! That’s so exciting. I was going to say I think I first heard about you from Photographers Edit, but I’m not sure that I knew the name behind the owner of the company. I heard great things about Photographers Edit and I have used it for a while and then heard about the Bokeh Podcast and didn’t realize the two are connected. So it’s so great that we were able to connect through that.

Nathan: Well, the podcast is ultimately something that I started about five years ago as a means to reconnect with the industry. I’d gone through some stuff personally and had been a bit disconnected from the industry for a while.

I wanted to reconnect, have conversations with photographers and ultimately be able to add value.

I had had the opportunity having been in the industry now for about 20 years to have individual conversations with photographers over the years and help them with different elements of their business. There’s just so much content there that I think would be super valuable for photographers, whether they’re early in their business, or they’ve even been around for a few years.

Ashley: Yes, awesome! I will obviously be sure to link that in the show note, because it is such a wealth of knowledge. It has been so fun to binge some of those now that I know about it. I would love to hear a little bit about your journey sort of leading up to where you got to today as I assume that you started as a photographer somewhere down the line.

Nathan: I started in photography back in 2001, so this is back in the film days. It was something of a hobby at that point and in fact, I had a camera, I had taken some pictures and portraits of friends and pictures of flowers, the stereotypical things that you do when you first get started in photography. My wife at the time put together a portfolio of images for me as a gift, and then a friend of mine who I worked with saw that portfolio, recommended me to his friends and I photographed my first wedding I guess about in 2001. 350 bucks, lost money because we were shooting on film and I had like 10 rolls of film I had to go get developed. But that was my start into photography. Long story short, here in the Chattanooga market, it was a pretty traditional market and there was an opportunity to create a more contemporary, but more journalistic style of photography that was popular in California and the west coast at that time, but not so much in the south or the southeast. So it was a cool opportunity to create something that was unique and I photographed professionally for about 10 years.

During that time, I saw the opportunity in the industry to launch an editing service, partially because I needed it and also because I saw business opportunity.

The other companies that were getting involved in the editing industry, largely too complicated, too pricey. It would take six to $800, to have a wedding processed, and that just isn’t reasonable for most photographers. So I wanted to come up with a simpler, more affordable solution for post-production work for wedding photographers or portrait photographers. I was a wedding photographer so that was particularly important to me. It was 30, 40 weddings a year, the post production associated with that gets just super tedious. And so 2008 is when we launched Photographers Edit and then the Bokeh Podcasts about five years ago, as a means of not only connecting with the industry, but ultimately adding value to the industry as well.

Ashley: That’s awesome! So this wasn’t a question that I had planned to ask you. But I can hear so many photogs thinking oh that sounds nice.

Being able to outsource my editing that sounds nice, but how do I know when I’m ready to do that and then how do I release that control?

I’d love to hear from your perspective, how do you sort of combat that question that I guess a lot of photographers would have- how do I give up that control?

Nathan: I would start first with something that I talk about quite a bit on my podcast, which is called a big picture view. There was a book that I read a number of years ago called Time Management from the Inside Out, by Julie Morgenstern. In the book she talks about how the most successful people in life have a big picture view that enables them to rise above the chaos and maintain perspective. I know this firsthand as a photography business owner, it’s easy to get lost in what it is that we do day in and day out. So trying to make decisions about how we spend our money and ultimately our time can be a little bit complicated at times, if we don’t have an overarching set of goals, that big picture view that drives what it is that we’re doing. So an answer to your question, I would actually come back with another question for those listening in who are curious about this.

I would actually ask number one, what is it that you want out of your life?

Number two, as a result of that, what are you trying to accomplish with your life, as far as time and finances goes?

Because those are really the two I think driving factors when it comes to why we even run a business in the first place. So you want a particular lifestyle, a lot of that centers around the amount of freedom that we have timewise and the freedom that we have financially. Hopefully with those goals in mind, we’re creating businesses that enable us to meet those financial and time goals.

If I want to create a business for myself, that enables me to make the living that I want to financially and also to have time left over, then that is going to drive my choices. One of those choices that I have as a photography business owner is to be able to delegate a number of things in my business, the most time consuming of which is editing.

The average wedding photographer spends, I would say probably 12 to 16 hours on editing based on conversations that I’ve had with photographers over the years, and that that’s even conservative, in some cases.

That is a lot of time that you’re just sitting behind the computer doing busy work that doesn’t ultimately drive revenue, doesn’t increase your bottom line. So if I can delegate this thing that is the most time consuming element of my business, and focus my time, effort, energy on those activities that will actually grow my business and  free me up so that I can spend more time with the important people in my life, then again based on my financial and time goals, it’s a win-win.

Having been a photographer, part of the reason that I needed to outsource my editing was because I was so OCD about my editing, so I understand what it feels like to want to control things. But we’re trying to control something, to create this notion of perfection that really is only important to us in the end and 95% of our clients don’t see those differences between how we might edit an image versus how somebody else might edit an image.

The idea that giving control of that process up to somebody else to manage, and that’s going to somehow cause our business to suffer, just very simply is a misnomer, because most clients aren’t looking at those images the way that we do.

So, when it comes to making a decision to outsource your editing, certainly look at the bigger picture view. Try to figure out what it is that you’re trying to accomplish with your life and as a result with a business model and making a decision about outsourcing your editing will be much easier. But then keep that healthy, realistic perspective in mind, which is that your perspective about your images is not the same as your clients. It doesn’t mean that we’re compromising in quality, it just means understanding that a slight difference if any is not going to make a difference in whether or not your brand succeeds or not.

Ashley: Thank you so much for going deeper about the bigger picture. Because that is something that I think so many photographers don’t think about. I also wanted to add because when I bring up the idea of outsourcing editing, I think a lot of people don’t realize that you can set custom profiles. The way that I do it is I just set key images from certain parts of the day with the lighting changed then I edit a key image the way that I want to edit it and then your team uses that edit to match all the rest of the photos. This as you said, saves me and my OCD brain so much time, because it used to take me forever to edit. I am doing my clients a service by allowing this to be taken off my plate, because now they’re getting their photos back faster, because I’m not so stressed about trying to get them done on my own time. So I just wanted to mention that because I know this slows so many photographers down and it’s just been a huge game changer in my business.

Nathan: Well, I’m glad that you brought up the reality, which is that we can get that customized look when we delegate our editing. We absolutely will match photographers’ editing style. So we’re not talking about massive compromises and shifting your style dramatically.. You truly can upload, share your editing style with our team, we process accordingly or do exactly what you were saying Ashley, which is to process a few reference images in the Lightroom catalog. You send that catalog to our team, they process based on those reference images.

The feedback that we get from photographers, they’re like, “Oh, my word, you edit my pictures better than I can!

That’s a level of editing that we offer.

I have to tell this story because this is also kind of when I think about perspective, really life is about perspective. I have on my refrigerator gobs of snapshots of me with my kids, with my girlfriend, with the friends or family. Lots of people that are important to me. These snapshots were I think pretty much all taken on a phone of some kind. They’re not color corrected, some of them aren’t sharp. The framing isn’t perfect and honestly, none of that matters to me because I just love having those images that represent important relationships in my life. So keep it in perspective and that will make a really big difference.

Ashley: Yes, I love that you share that story because that is so true. We as professional photographers spend too much time really focusing on I think things that slow us down, and that really don’t matter in the end and we need to increase our relationships with our clients and other people around us. So in addition to editing, I do feel like the one of the most frustrating aspects of photography is the file storage organization. I hear that from a lot of photographers that my hard drives are too full, my computer runs slow. I don’t know what to do, what do you suggest? So I’m wondering if you can share with us:

Where do you recommend photographers start when it comes to file storage, and then maybe you can sort of share some additional things to consider as photographers grow, and they need more space.

Nathan: Again, going back to my point earlier about a big picture view, if our goal as business owners is at least partially to have more freedom. I mean I would venture that some element of motivation around time is involved in everybody’s reasoning for starting their own business. They understand at the very least, that being their own boss means they can have more freedom and part of getting to the place where you have more freedom is creating systems that enable us to be able to get things done more efficiently. Believe it or not, even something as simple as managing the files that are on our laptops or desktops or external hard drives or in the cloud, there is a system or a set of systems that we can establish that will enable us to manage that part of our workflow more efficiently. So that instead of spending, you know, an extra 5,10, 15 minutes here and there having to look for a file, literally in seconds  you can go where you need to.

Knowing that you’ve got files backed up and where they’re backed up, not only does it help  give us an ease of mind, but ultimately we can function a lot more efficiently.

I would say the first thing is to come up with a system or understand the significance of a system, which very simply we could define today as a workflow that we follow consistently. We could type out a list of steps that we follow each and every time we go to do that particular thing, in this case file management and then we follow that consistently. There’s never a question of what we’re supposed to do, we always know where everything lives because we’re following this workflow or system that we’ve created. The other thing I’ll add is, I think part of the reason that that photographers are apprehensive when it comes to the idea of a system, it  feels super structured, like it’s forcing them into something that is maybe in some cases complicated. In the past, I think there has been teaching in the photography industry around file management that has been unnecessarily complicated.

We’re not talking about creating a complicated system here, we want simplicity and something that’s logical.

So I’ll start with that as a baseline.

Ashley: That’s great. I appreciate that too. Because that is something that has slowed me down from just getting started, was just the idea of it being so much work.  Typically, when I’m working  this is what happens,  I’m in the middle of editing or trying to upload photos and disk space full and I’m just like, why? I don’t have time and I’m always calling my husband and he’s like you need to have a process of  how are you offloading your photos. I’m like I don’t know and I don’t have time for that right now. I think that’s the thing, it  just  feels complicated for me and it hasn’t been a system regularly for me. So, can you walk us through a simple strategy as beginners in this system?

Nathan: Yes, sure and again, this is super simple. I’m going to talk about tools we’re all familiar with in one form or another, so this doesn’t have to be complicated. The first thing that I would do is suggest, just for the sake of basic file management on our computer, create a really simple and logical, intuitive folder structure. I’m going to go somewhere, a very specific place to find a particular thing to get a particular task done. So that’s the significance of systems. When it comes to actually looking through my folders most of what I interact with, resides in Dropbox. Anything that’s document related- receipts, contracts, individual notes, copies of articles, whatever it might be goes into Evernote. So, when I am going to go to the folders on my desktop, they’re also synced with Dropbox.

I have this folder called Dropbox that I go to, where I have 7 or eight folders here and one is called “to do”. If I have a task that is associated with a particular file, I will drop it in there. The next folder is Camera Uploads. When it comes to managing all the photos on my phone, Dropbox has this really cool automated system that synchronizes all the photos on my phone with Dropbox. Data, for example has backups of my Google files, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, my bookmarks from the various browsers. But this is where I put data. DMG are installation files, if I ever need to go back and pull an installation file for a program. I have a Personal Folder, and a number of folders within that personal folder that are organized pretty logically and then Screenshots. I’m a little bit of an obsessive screenshot taker and the way that Dropbox works on the Mac is that I can set it up in such a way that when I take a screenshot, automatically any screenshots go into this folder, and they’re backed up to Dropbox.

So those are the primary folders in my Dropbox and then the Multimedia folder. Again, just a brief description of the folders here audio, graphics, photo, video, those are kind of the top folders.

  • Code – If I need to back up any kind of development code for a website or an app or otherwise I’ve got a folder for that.
  • Downloads – Photoshop actions, and within that folder outside of lightroom presets.
  • Presentations – Anytime I speak, I have all my presentations in that folder.
  • Then I have two folders of shared content with those that I work with. I can invite people, those on my team to access files through those two folders and they’re able to get in there and access those files and update the folders and so forth.

That’s kind of the gist of the file structure.

Ashley: Yes, that definitely makes sense. So as you’re using Dropbox, do you use that to store and save your photos as well?

Nathan: For that workflow, number one, all of those files that are backed up into these Dropbox folders. The majority if not all of them will also get backed up onto an external hard drive, which goes into my Firesafe. The external drives that I use are called Samsung T5, they’re very small, solid state drives and  I think they sell up to a two terabyte drive. They have quite a bit of capacity, they’re super reliable and also easy to store because they’re so small versus what can be a very complicated  RAID system, that a lot of photographers or some photographers might use.

I prefer just to go to individual, external hard drives, and I can mark them and I could even catalog each of those external drives.

But to your point, if just a very simple workflow, if I was photographing actively, I would recommend to the listeners when they go shoot a session, bring those files back, download them to their computer, laptop, desktop, or otherwise. Have a very specific location in that folder structure on their hard drive where they’re going to go ahead and put those files. I would then immediately copy those to the external hard drive, which goes into the Fire safe.

Then I would also make sure that any of the files that are going on this external hard drives are also backed up to the cloud.

You could use a service, for example, like Carbonite, to backup those external hard drives. So that you not only have a localized version that you can work on, if you’re doing your own editing, or just need to be able to manage your own files, you’ve got that in your computer.

So I’ve got multiple backups and then I can work on the files that are there on my laptop, or my desktop as needed. And my assumption would be as long as the photographer is staying on top of the workflow, those files are going to be processed and managed and delivered to the client within a couple of weeks or so, so they can then be deleted. After you confirm that the files are backed up, then you can delete those from your laptop, from your desktop hard drive and that will help minimize the chance that the hard drive is filling up. This is all just about simple systems and then proactivity.

If you have a process that you follow each and every time, you can see none of these processes are complicated, just a matter of doing it consistently every single time.

You’ll be good to go.

Ashley: I love that you mentioned this, because simplicity is really I feel like where I’m lacking and where I think a lot of other photographers can feel that too. I’m a very organized person I feel like outside of technology. I don’t know for whatever reason when it comes to the file storage aspect, I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but if I just applied the same principles, it really is not that difficult. So, it’s coming up with the system first and then second actually scheduling it, like scheduling time in your calendar to do these things because it does take time especially if you haven’t done this before.  I import my photos directly to the RAID system. I always have a backup of the original files and then as I’m doing the edits and getting the edits back from you guys, and then doing my own tweaks, I’m saving that as well. Maybe you can help clarify this, I think that I’m saving  delivered photos for way too long. I know that was a question I had asked my community and one of them specifically asked, how long do I hold on to archived images? I have wedding images from clients that I’ve done 6, 7, 8 years ago and that’s still taking up a lot of space on my external hard drive.

At what point would you say it’s okay to delete? Would you consider deleting all the way and how do you do it?

Nathan: I personally wouldn’t. Here’s the thing- storage is so cheap, so 200 bucks gets me a two terabyte hard drive. Now I realize that some of you that are shooting a lot and with cameras that produce really large file sizes, they’re going to fill up relatively quickly, but we’re talking two terabytes. So the idea that I can back up a set of processed images from a wedding, that might be what three, four gig, maybe five, six gig worth of files, that I can easily back that up to an external hard drive that’s literally the size of a credit card, stick that in a firesafe. I don’t really have to think about the fact that it’s taking up any storage or space because the actual hard drive storage is cheap one. The size of the hard drives now have come down so small, and that’s part of the reason that I’m not personally a big fan of the RAID system, because if I want to actually put it in a safe, now that takes up a ton of space and that gets complicated.

So I would encourage anybody just to go and keep them, we’re not talking about a lot of files, and you never know when you might be able to go back and either resell images if you want to. Or in something just as beautiful and wonderful as a client from five years ago, calls you and says, Hey, my father just passed away and I’m just wondering if you have any other images from the wedding day or from that portrait session that we could use in his memorial coming up?

The idea that we can just very quickly if organized, go pull that hard drive, pull the files off and of course, give them to the client, just the impact that you can have with something as simple as that, I think is really, really great.

So that’s my initial thought there, but I can dig just a little bit deeper into just the workflow when we’re talking about bringing files home from a shoot and what to do next.

The cool thing about this workflow for a photographer is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. You go out you do a session a portrait session in this case and you’ve got let’s say 300 files that you bring back from that portrait session. On your computer hard drive, you’re going to have a folder that you can literally name anything you want. But just make it simple and logical.

So for example clients, I’m now going to create a new folder and that folder is name is going to be the clients last name and then a date. I use a program called Text Expander, which very quickly enables me to add a date to a file name or a folder name.

In that folder, I’m going to offload the cards, put all the original files into that folder.

Then I would have a second folder that is edited, where the finished files are going to go, whether you’re outsourcing the editing to Photographers Edit, or you’re doing it yourself. Then I can even create an additional folder for this catalog and I will put the Lightroom catalog file in there, so I can always go back to that if I need to.

Smith 4.25.2022 > Original Files/RAWs > Edited (finished files) > Lightroom Catalog

That’s the simple folder structure, you can literally copy paste that to the external hard drive and that’s the file management.

Ashley: Yes. And just to clarify, when you have your external hard drive, do you take that out of the fire safe each time you’re continuing to work and then copy over like what you just did? Is that what you’re saying? So it’s like you’re basically working off of your desktop, and then copying whatever edits you made onto the external and then putting that away each time you’re done, is that correct?

Nathan: I’m treating the external drive as a backup and these hard drives that I’ve mentioned, are super quick. But I always want the maximum efficiency if I’m doing anything with my files. So I’d rather work from the files on my desktop, or my laptop on my computer hard drive, than from an external drive.

I’m using that external drive as a backup and I’ve got my active files, those files that need work, they’re sitting on my laptop.

The laptop that I have now has a terabyte drive and again, if I’m proactive, consistent in my workflow, and I’m pushing files through my workflow over a week to two weeks, a terabyte should be plenty of room to be able to house those files temporarily, while I’m doing any work that I need to with them, before they are then kind of permanently on that external hard drive and then in the cloud for backup. I’d suggest working on the files on your computer treating that external drive as a backup source.

Ashley: Okay. And then for the backup source though, like how often are you backing up is it right away?

Nathan: Absolutely. Because I always want to make sure I’ve got at least a second or third version of those original files and so yes, immediately I would back up the originals. Once the edit is done, then the edited files also go again. You can literally just copy paste the folder structure onto that external drive and I would just pull that out as I’m shooting and need to backup or as I get the finished files back, and I need to backup, I want it to stay in a safe space and any active work that needs to be done are on files on my folder.

Then you could literally set a reminder in your to do software, Task List Manager and set a reminder every Monday or Tuesday for this workflow.

I’m going to go into backup all my files, all the edited files that I’ve gotten back from Photographers Edit, and make sure that all of my originals are also backed up. The cool thing is if you keep that same file structure mirrored on the laptop, the client folder and everything that’s in that client folder mirrored on the external hard drive, you can literally just copy and paste. So anything that’s fresh moves over to that external hard drive and everything else is left alone.

It’s very, very simple, but I think simple is better when we’ve got so many different moving parts to keep up with.

Ashley: And a question that keeps coming to the surface for me is Lightroom catalogs. I don’t know why I have such a hard time understanding like where Lightroom catalogs live when I create them. How do I make sure that they’re linked, because basically when I am uploading a new session, I have  the original files and then I create a new catalog for my weddings. But I typically will keep just portraits in my master catalog, and then I’ll export it as a new catalog when I send it to you guys. But then for whatever reason, I just have a really hard time keeping the Lightroom catalog with the client and then Lightroom will be like I don’t know where the files are.

How do you locate them? Do you have any advice for us for that?

Nathan: I do. I would recommend for everybody listening in that you actually create an individual catalog for every shoot, for a couple of different reasons, one for ease of organization: So, for that particular catalog, I can create that catalog within that folder structure, Client Smith date, and then underneath that, actually put that individual catalog in that folder. When I’m done, I just copy it to the external drive. It’s good for ease of management and organization, but it makes the process of outsourcing, editing a lot easier. Whatever the system, if you’ve got a lot of different sessions or events in that catalog, it makes it a little bit more complicated trying to sync it up with the original files.

To minimize the potential for confusion and complication and issues, I would just suggest creating a new catalog every single time you go to process a client’s order or clients shoot, session, event or otherwise.

What that looks like is you open up Lightroom, file, new catalog. You point Lightroom to where you want that catalog file to live and it’s going to be in that folder that we described. Do whatever work you need to do to those images, even if it’s just exporting or importing the images, building the smart previews and exporting those, sharing those with Photographers Edit, you go ahead and go through that process t for every single event or session that you photograph and keep an individual catalog for each client.

Let’s say for example, a client comes back to you year later, two years later, three years later, they want a 20 by 30 of this particular image from their engagement session or from their wedding or from this family session that you did for them. You can very easily pull that Lightroom catalog back up, connect it to the files, again in that same folder structure they’re right there easy to find. Do the work that you need to in Lightroom, connect it to Photoshop even if you need to, and then export the final image.

Ashley: Yes, that is so helpful. That is two of the problems I’ve been having is number one, I’m not creating a new catalog for each individual client. I was doing that master catalog for each year, don’t know where I heard that, but apparently that’s not the right way to do it.

Nathan: I’ll jump in really quick and say I don’t see it as right and wrong so much, is just simple simplicity. There is an advantage to having a lot of different events sessions in a catalog, in that you can keyword those images and easily go through and search and pull up particular types of images to share with vendors just as one example. So it’s not that there aren’t advantages to that.

Again, I tend to be a bit of a minimalist and a simplicity freak and I also try to create workflows that make things easier for photographers, so in that light, that’s why I recommend the individual catalog.

Ashley: Yes and I think to that point, I think the person that I learned from did mention that being it an all the same catalog, so you could keyword it. But I’ve honestly never used that feature, so I would prefer to have them separate so that it’s easier to find. Because as you were saying, when I’m going back to look for certain people’s images, that’s always the problem I have is because the catalog has moved somewhere and now I can’t find the original files. Then the other thing was, I guess I didn’t realize this, but in Lightroom you can tell it where to save that catalog. I don’t think I knew that, I think I was just letting it save to wherever it normally saved and then I always have a hard time finding where that is. So thank you for that.

Nathan: By default, I know certainly in the Mac its saved to your photos folder, your system or your user folder. Within your user folder there’s a photos folder and it’s saved to that by default. Anytime you create a new catalog, you can designate where that catalog gets saved, and that’s where the catalog will live. Smart previews will live, previews will live if you’re generating previews, all of that will live where you designate it

Ashley: That’s very helpful, thank you. One more thing I wanted to touch on before we close today is iPhone storage or just phone storage in general. Because as photographers, you know social media is really important. I know for me I have a lot of videos that I take that I want to save and just a lot of personal stuff. Also, I am a screenshot junkie as well, I love screenshots and then I can’t keep going doing videos for Instagram reels and stuff like that because my phone is full. I can’t tell you how many times that has held me back. I know that you said that you mirror your phone on Dropbox, I think is what you had said. But I’m having a hard time getting the photos off my phone and saved somewhere else. So can you also do that with Dropbox?

Nathan: You can yes, and just on a base level, getting the biggest possible hard drive you can for your phone, also super helpful. But the workflow that I have established for myself is to backup photos every month and this is kind of what the process looks like. So first of all, if I’m taking pictures, I’m saving screenshots, files offline  to my camera roll on my phone, that camera roll is set to backup to Dropbox, anytime it’s opened up and I’m on Wi Fi. I’ll open Dropbox, and it will sync the files since the last time it synced and it’s actually uploading into a folder called Camera Uploads, that’s the default location and  it will upload as well in the cloud. I also have access to that folder on my desktop, so if it’s a month or two months, three months, maybe at the longest, usually a month to two months as those photos are taken they’re synced to Dropbox.

It lives not only in the cloud, on my phone, but then also in that camera uploads folder on my hard drive because Dropbox is synced to my hard drive on my computer.

At the end of a month and the month is kind of the established timeframe for my workflow, but maybe two months in some cases, I’ll actually go to Dropbox online, first of all make sure that all the files are backed up. I will actually export them from my phone to my desktop into a folder called iPhone ending, and then the date. At the end of the month or two months, I’ll hook the phone up to my laptop, I use Image Capture on my Mac, I’m sure there’s something comparable for PC and I’ll import the images from my phone and it’ll naturally delete them as I’m importing. It’ll delete them from my phone, it’ll import them into a folder on my desktop and I named that iPhone ending and the date. By the way, this is after making sure that they’ve all already synced to Dropbox.

So now they’re in the cloud and they are also exported. I have a hard copy that I’m going to put on one of those external hard drives and put it in my fire safe. They’re backed up to the cloud, they’re still sitting in that camera uploads folder in the cloud and I’m going to continue this workflow. So what I’ll do at this point is I’ll go to Dropbox online, and I’ll create the folder named exactly the same way that I just did for my external hard drive, iPhone ending and the date and I grab all the photos in my camera, the camera uploads folder on Dropbox, and I move them. You can select all and then choose to move those files over to that folder, iPhone ending and the date.

I can go to these individual folders and I know I have a timeline of when those images were taken.

Those files as I mentioned, reside in an external hard drive in the fire safe, but then I can also reference them in the cloud. That’s the workflow, I just repeat that every month or two and it keeps everything backed up and it also helps minimize the amount of storage taken up on my phone.

Ashley: That’s so helpful. Thank you so much, Nathan! That is something that again you have to be proactive about it, because once it’s already full it’s just so annoying. I don’t want to stop what I’m doing and implement this new workflow. But I just keep putting it off and putting it off. So you’ve inspired me to just be proactive, make it really simple and just to stay consistent every single month backing up the photos and having that external and with a fire safe. I love that, I need to get a fire safe. I need one like right next to my computer. So, thank you so much Nathan, this has been so helpful. I would love for you to share with everyone where you hang out the most and how they can connect with you and learn more about Photographers Edit.

Nathan: Sure, if you just go to, you can find us and all the information about our editing services there,, or really probably the best thing to do is just to search Bokeh podcast literally anywhere you can imagine Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, all the podcast players. And then Instagram, @NathanHolritz, if you want to follow me personally and feel free to DM me if you’ve got any questions. If there’s anything I can do to help.

Ashley: Awesome. Thank you so much, Nathan, this was so helpful.

Nathan: That was a privilege. Thank you Ashley.


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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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