When dealing with a huge archive of photos, illustrations, and logos, it helps to have a dedicated system for organizing these files. Of course, you can copy the files onto each person's hard drive, but when it comes time to find a specific image, it may take a bit of digging to locate it. If you're working for a design agency or large company, this can result in squandered time and money. Luckily, with today's cloud-based technologies, there are much smarter ways to organize your stock photo collection.
Below, we've outlined a few tips for archiving your media so that any team member can retrieve a stock photo in seconds.
Use a Cloud-Based Management Tool
If you're pulling stock photography, videos, and fonts from a variety of sources on the web, you need a place to put it all. Today, many businesses rely on a digital asset management (or DAM) service, which serves as a central database for any media assets that your employees use on a regular basis. DAM services allow you to upload files securely to a cloud-based server, so that team members in different countries can access the same assets. They also have advanced search features, so that you can find a stock photo in seconds.
Create an Organizational System
Before uploading your stock media to a DAM service, consider who will be accessing the files and then design an organizational structure to reflect that. For example, if you own a boutique design firm with a flat employee hierarchy, you can create a folder structure that's accessible to anyone. On the other hand, if you're a digital manager at a huge corporation, you'll probably want to consult with senior employees and come up with a system that allows each team to access the files they need, and only those files.
Tag Your Media
The best digital asset management systems have a built-in tagging function, which allows you to create special keywords and then tag individual files based on their content. This makes it much easier to locate a specific photo or illustration. For example, if you have a stock photo series of puppies that you plan on using in a future ad campaign, you can tag every puppy photo with the "puppy" keyword, so that they're easy to bring up in search results.
Add Image Descriptions
Finally, DAM systems allow you to write a brief description for any file that you upload to the server. You can use this section to jot down any important details that will be useful later, such as the image rights holders and the photographer's name. You can also utilize the space to come up with more refined keywords, since these descriptions are also included in regular search results.