How to keep images organized after a mission?

Hello Drone Deploy, I recently started using DD but ran into a snag.

DD generates a multitude of images and simply stashing them on an SD card and then my computer is not working, especially if I have multiple missions in a short span of time. I spend a lot of time just sorting through images to find the right ones to upload or to archive. Is there a better way?

Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions?

Any help is welcome, thanks.

Hey @Michael_A,

Image storage is a huge part of the business, especially if your clients are depending on that data. I go with the; if i dont have it in three places it isn’t truly backed up philosophy. I would suggest piking up an external HDD, and get into the practice of copying directly to this drive as a form of back up. I treat my SD cards as essentially expendable media, where i will purchase new ones for new clients so that i have the original files on the SD card as well. In addition DD will have the images stored in the cloud but having a dropbox. or google images account will add another place to store photos safely.

For easy retrieval you will want to be tagging photos so you can look up by type of shot, client, mission, overall feel, showcase worthy etc. The more you do the more and more data you will need to have stored, backed up, and organized so that you can easily find and retrieve it when needed. A lot of editing software (adobe, final cut,etc) will have the tagging feature built into them to help sort your libraries out. It takes a bit more work at the front end, but will end up saving you hours, and possibly clients on the back end.

Scott Lashmit

So if I understand you correctly:

  1. every client (or mission) gets a particular SD card - sounds expensive, no?
  2. tag images by shot, client, mission, etc. using a photo editor - do you recommend any free photo editors/taggers? you don’t tag by location?
  3. save to external HDD and cloud

Is this your process?

Also, when do you upload the images to DD? I know the documentation suggests not editing the images because that could alter the metadata, do you upload to DD before tagging the images?

Thanks, Scott, this has been helpful.

Hey @Michael_A,

  1. while sometimes i do reuse them in a pinch i factor in the $20-$40 they cost as part of my pricing, it really isnt that bad especially if you can do some bulk purchases to drive down the unit cost.

  2. yes location absolutely as well, that isnt an exhaustive list and you will find what you like to tag and search best. I don’t as of yet, i end up doing most of them in the editing program, so if you happen to find a good one please let everyone here know!

  3. yes i use several external HDD (these are also consumable for long term) at the end of the year i write on them and file them so i can always come back to them. And honestly at least one format should be stored offsite in case of fire etc. It might be beneficial to set up your own cloud mega storage as well as time moves along.

I upload without editing, as the metadata can be a huge headache. If i am flying multiple flights on the same day i keep a log of the photo ranges for each job, to make the upload of appropriate photos faster. Might also go in and change the record folder if possible to keep them organized at the job level. I like to think about it as two steps, the first is getting them uploaded to DD so they can process because that is what is going to make me money at the end of the day. As they process i will go through and work on the organization. I by no means have a perfect system and am always looking for how to improve, so i will gladly listen to any tips or tricks you pick up along the way.


This is my process and it works for me.

If I only have one mission in a day I just take them to my PC and upload the images to my clients folder by date and/or job site name. If I have more than 1 mission I have used separate SD cards, I have also taken my laptop and plugged in the SD card and uploaded the photo’s to the client folder by date and job name (If I have a client that I am doing with more than one site I give each site a name). I have also taken a piece of paper and written down the info before a mission and put it in front of the drone’s camera. I do the same at the next one. My drone has always kept the pics in order, so when I get back to my PC I know that all the pics between the first piece of paper and the second is one map.
The one I use the most when I have several missions in a day, including RE shoots, is I have a bunch of Flash Drives from 32 GB to 128GB (very cheap online and at Best Buy. I usually pay around $30 for one 128GB), I take zip-lock bags and sticky notes or index cards and when I get done with a mission, I transfer the info from the SD card to the Flash Drive via laptop, then toss it in a bag with all the info for that shoot on there.
Works for me!

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I’ve just created this thread about how I handle my pictures including backing them up. Hope it helps.

This seems like a common practice, as ridiculous as it sounds it’s a great tip.

I ended up just creating a script that organizes the images by geotag and uploads them directly to Google Drive and, hopefully soon, Drone Deploy. Although, I’ve adopted multiple SD cards into my routine but the script makes this less necessary - I still suggest using multiple SD cards for the great reasons posted here and it’s always good to have something physical to give clients.

Thanks for the replies guys and the topic @Dave_Wilson.

With multiple SD cards, do you “format” each one in the DJI app before hand?