If you’re in the consumer product world, the BEST thing that can happen is to have lots of people use your photos without needing to hunt you down or ask your permission. That means the best place to keep your library of photos is in some public place where people can download the best images you have produced; the cloud, with no bank vault with passwords.

Take the time now to build a library with referencing, product identification, by item number, properly spelled names, etc., for any blogger, retailer or casual looker to find in your “photo albums”. And then leave them there. There is nothing more time consuming or frustrating than hunting for images on your hard drive, your server or your phone when someone “needs” it.

Whether they are product shots, logos, lifestyle shots, fun pictures, whatever, if they are associated with product already in the market place, the more public the better. Your competors can already go buy your product, so get over competition. If you control the original content and make it accessible from your website, through links, not to mention from the cloud site itself (like Flickr or Picassa, not Facebook), you are far less likely to have crappy images all over the landscape that do not show off what you want to have shown off as well as you can. Your branded images will also enhance the visits in all the places they go. Everything is one Google search or one click away for your brand.

This one step, started when your library is small, can save you and your team (sales people, marketing, etc.) hundreds of hours a year. Don’t wait to do filing until some point when filing is arduous. Be smarter than the competition. Do it now. Then put the link on your website, your signatures, etc. Life just got easier.