How to Organize Videos

Photo by Noom Peerapong on Unsplash

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

Stock Videos Sites

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

There are 100s of stock video sites but for now, I am trying out only Pond5 & Fotolia. I am also uploading videos to YouTube, Vimeo, and Instagram.



Pond5 has pretty neat video uploader. Other sites require you to use ftp for larger files but not Pond5. Which makes it super easy to upload files from iPad since iPad is my main device for creative work.

Also you can set your own price for videos on Pond5. This actually motivates me to shoot fewer but higher quality videos.

It also uses AI and pre-populate tags for you for each video. It is pretty amazing how it adds tags or keywords that I never thought of but are related to videos.

Here is my portfolio on Pond5:



Fotolia was independent agency but has recently been acquired by Adobe. It is really geared towards photos but it also has stock videos. I already had a few stock photos on it, so I decided to use it also for videos.

You cannot set your own price here and it seems videos are cheaper than Pond5.

Their interface is a bit clunky. First, you need a ftp client to upload videos. Then adding tags and setting categories is kind of tedious. But this is the only site where I have made any sales on photos. So hopefully with proper attention, I can sell videos better.

Here is my portfolio on Fotolia:


Vimeo, Youtube, Instagram

Vimeo has recently started to offer Stock videos but it is invite-only program. I am uploading a few videos there just as an experiment. And as another cheap way to keep backup of my files.

I have uploading randomness on Youtube and Instagram forever but now I will mostly upload my favorite stock videos there. Mostly for social media marketing purposes.

Top Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

My Current Gear for Videography

For now, I plan to use my existing camera gear for making videos. It is not the most ideal gear for it but before I buy the new camera, let’s make sure that this is something I’ll stick with long term.

I prefer to buy photography gear from B&H Photo & Video, however, below links are for Amazon as these are affiliate links.

Fuji X100F

This is a beautiful camera, great for photography. I also love the videos it produce. However, lack of optical image stabilization makes handheld videos a bit too shaky. Also lack of 4K recording is disappointing.

One thing I really love about this camera is film simulation modes. Everyone loves Classic Chrome, so do I. But then again for stock videos, I suspect buyers would prefer flat color profile so that they can easily match with their footage. I will have to read more on it.

Check X100f on Amazon.

GoPro HERO4 Silver

GoPro should be great tool to make timelapse videos.

If you want to buy GoPro, get the latest version, Hero7.

GoPro Karma Grip

I haven’t used this much. It is a bit of pain to take it out. Also it seems to use up battery pretty fast. But I can think of many shots with this. Here is one of my test video:

Checkout Karma Grip on Amazon

Sony Nex-3N

This is one of the most underrated cameras out there. At the time I bought it, it was the smallest camera with crop sensor. The kit lens, 16-50mm, has Optical Image Stabilization, so videos are pretty decent. It works great in low light. And since it is pretty cheap, I use it in places where I won’t take x100f.

Only negative is that sometimes autofocus will start hunting for focus all over ruining the video.

You can check it out on Amazon, though I would get something else if mine breaks.


You will need tripod for making videos. I use Dolica Proline GX 60-Inch tripod. It is made for photography but we will try for videos for now.

Check it out here

iPad Pro 10.5

iPad is a weird device. I love it and hate it. It seems to do everything except it misses that one thing that you definitely need. For example, iMovie’s interface is great on it except it doesn’t have stabilization. However, it is pretty good tool to edit movies.

iPad Pro 10.5

13” MacBook Pro

This is unlikely to be powerful enough for 4K video editing. But it will have to do for now.


I used to use Sony Vegas Pro once upon a time. But lately I am playing with iMovie and it seems to do everything I need. Since I am trying to save money. I will stick with free software for now.