How to stay organized

This article is for models and makeup artists who are looking to avoid the stress of losing important files and high-resolution pictures. There are a number of simple things you can do to keep your PC and digital portfolio organized, and you don’t have to be a computer techie to get it done.

Photographer: Jan Kruize; Models: Maria & Annet Gruppen

Receiving pictures from a shoot

After you’ve done a paid or TFP shoot, you’ll probably receive the pictures directly from the photographer or your agency. Some photographers send only the best (or published) pictures, while some send the whole shoot  so you can decide which pictures you are going to use for your website or social media outlets.

Make sure you are familiar with modern ways to send large files. WeTransfer or Dropbox are excellent for sending and receiving big files. You can easily install that software yourself on your PC. Some photographers are sending pictures by mail: either on a CD or on a memory stick. Before you start to select or delete pictures, remember to organize the pictures in a new folder, and copy them to an external backup PC, HDD or memory stick.

Renaming, selecting pictures, and Google awareness

As I said earlier, some photographers send hundreds of pictures (and only a few are edited), while others send a handful of retouched images—it all depends on the agreement you made with the photographer before the shoot. Once you receive the pictures, start to select the ones you like the most for your portfolio, agencies, forums or social media. Then start to downsize your favorite images. Most retouching programs let you easily scale the picture back to useful sizes for the Internet. I always use 640 x 428, which is mostly 350-500 KB. Then, remember to save, because you don’t want to lose those important images for your portfolio. So, please save carefully! When you click the save as option, rename the pictures with your own name and the category that works for you. For example: “ Model Maria Editorial picnic.” Very important note:  On some forums your pictures can be found easily by Google,  so if you want to avoid your nudes, erotic, glamour or fetish pictures showing up on Google images, don’t give them your own name but a very common name like “Fine Nude Art”  or “glamour beach.” On most forums, if you put the 18+ flag on the pictures, they will not show up on Google. But be careful, as that’s not a common safety rule for all forums or websites.

Now that you’ve downsized your pictures to a manageable size and saved them in a working folder, you can upload them on forums, social media, etc. Avoid uploading pictures named “IMG-457” or “EditDSC457” or “Maria457”—give them proper names like “Model Maria Beach Shoot.”


It’s a good idea to categorize your pictures, too. You can organize them by genre (glamour, commercial, fine nude art, published work), or you can just stick with the photographer’s name.

Most important:  Keep it simple. If you have hundreds of pictures, you use only the best 20 or 30 for your working files.

Forums and portfolios

Remembering all your passwords for the forums and social media sites you’ve joined is challenging. It’s essential you use different passwords but that makes it even harder to remember all of them. The best solution is to use a recommended password manger, like LastPass.

It might sound a bit paranoid but accounts get hacked all the time. A friend of mine lost access to all of her data because of a burglary and it took her months to overcome all of the mess and stress.

Remember to make backups at least once a month and keep track of which sites and forums you need to pay to use.

Tagging your pictures

Get used to tagging your photos, as well.  A tag means a sort of label on a picture. For instance, if you want your picture to be found on forums or by Google, label the image so that search engines will have an easier time finding it. For instance on a business editorial picture, label it with keywords (e.g., business, office, business suit, secretary, director and so on).

Also, tag your profile and website. In my case, I tag my site with keywords like mature model, commercial model and model-maria.

If you want to be found by Google or forums, do not hide behind doors, but use descriptions and keywords. On ModelMayhem your username is the most important. This will immediately show up on Google when you or others are searching for your name. Also, your lists will show up. So stay organized and realize being funny with usernames, lists or tags could also make it look like you’re not serious about modeling.


Lastly, when you have new pictures, news or skills, update your social media profile and website. Keep it moving—delete older or unpopular stuff and do the same on your PC. If you haven’t used pictures from a shoot in two years, just save them on a backup HDD, but remove them from your working files. Be selective and go for quality instead of quantity. Keep renewing, improving and get rid of things you don’t use.



Maria started modeling at 43 and now works all over Europe. She also trained as a makeup artist. Maria is the mother of two children and lives in the Netherlands countryside, close to the German border, where she owns a small horse breeding-farm.

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