How to Organize Videos

I have done a lot of research on how to best organize videos. It seems most of the people organize videos by a project. They might have a folder hierarchy like this:

  • Video top-level folder
    • Project 1
    • Project 2
      • Raw videos
      • Finished videos
      • Soundtracks and music
      • Graphics
      • Photos and Still images

This might be ideal when you are shooting for a specific project. But when you are just starting out shooting stock videos and trying many things, this structure seems too restrictive. I might shoot random things throughout a day. Those videos would not fit in a specific project. Or each video would be its own project which would be too many folders.

Organize Videos with Photos

I have organized my photos in following structure for years:

  • Photos
    • 2018
    • 2017
      • 2017-01
      • 2017-02
        • 2017-02-14
        • 2017-02-18

This is basically how I have set up Lightroom to import photos.

Physical location of photos on hard drive doesn’t matter for me because I use SmugMug albums for sharing and further organizing photos by topic like Vacation, Birthday party, etc.

Since I don’t like to mix photos and videos in same folder, I normally move videos to their own top-level Video folder with virtually identical structure as in Photos. The reason for moving videos out of Photos was because back when storage was expensive, and I didn’t care so much for videos, I would backup Photos folder while didn’t backup Videos folder. If worse comes to worse, and I lose videos, I didn’t care much.

However, now videos are as important as photos, not only because I am shooting videos for stock footage but also as a new father I am shooting tons of random videos of the baby. So of course, I am backing up videos. So going forward I will leave my videos with photos in same folder.

Only difference would be that I will export finished videos under new top-level Videos folder. Here I will organize by various topics. So Videos folder might look like:

  • Exported Videos
    • Personal
      • 2018-01-01 Birthday Party
      • 2018-06 Miami Trip
    • Stock
      • 2018
        • Beaches
        • Hiking
        • Coffee
        • etc


Organize Videos in iMovie

I am still learning iMovie but one thing I find really annoying about it is that it copies videos to its library thus duplicating space used.

So I have moved iMovie Library to external ssd just because it has more storage. When working on stock photos, I import media into a new project. Since I will be generating small minimally edited clips, I just re-use same project to generate several clips. Usually my workflow consist of trimming videos and minor adjustments.

Once done with project, I simply delete the project to free up the space. It makes sense since my edits are pretty basic, so no big loss.

I am also looking into devices like Seagate Lacie 6big 6-Bay RAID (affiliate link) so that I don’t have to worry about storage space, and onsite backup but it is a bit out of my range.


Photo by Noom Peerapong on Unsplash