Summer is in full swing. We are taking vacations and our cameras and phones are capturing all the fun. This means the photo mess is going to grow! Most of us have a mix of digital and print photos, often in a variety of places within the home. As we have become more digital, the specific need to store print photos has diminished and so too has our photo storage solutions. Therefore, many of my clients have photos thrown all over the house and phone storage that is full.
Wouldn’t you love it if you had one location for all of your photos? At the end of the year, you could pull the highlights and create a printed photobook to capture the memories for you and your family. (Photobooks make amazing gifts!)
Here are the steps you can take to get your photos under control so you can enjoy the memories now and in the future.
Gather your photos in one place. Find all of your prints and place them in a box. Digitally gather all of your photos by downloading them from your phone and your computer to one location.
1. The quick sort: Quickly go through and sort by general year or occasion. Discard photos that are blurry, duplicates or contain images you don’t recognize. Discarding is as important as sorting. None of the photos will have as much meaning if they are mixed with photos with no importance.
2. Storage decision: Determine if you would like to store photos in an album, photo box or scan and store digitally.
3. The detailed sort: If you are going to use an album for each year, sort the photos by groups of 3 or 4 depending on page and photo size. If using a box for each year or event, you can sort by broader definitions like “Vacation to Italy” or “Halloween” using a labeled tab. In preparation for scanning, the grouping will be similar to the box then scan by grouping and label the photos and folders by group.
1. The quick sort: This initial step is the same as with printed photos. Sort by general year or occasion. Discard photos that are blurry, duplicates or contain images you don’t recognize. There will be many more duplicates and undesirable photos so be tough and just choose the best.
2. Storage decision: Determine if you would like to save on a hard drive with external hard drive back up, cloud backup or photo service backup. I recommend storing on a hard drive with both external hard drive backup (for all documents on your computer) and a photo service. I like the duplication for security and the photo services offer nice solutions for easily printing photos, sharing photos and printing year end and other photo products. The service I use is SmugMug which has an annual fee but is easy to use, offers free downloads (without size reduction) providing access to anyone and no display advertising but there are many quality services from which to pick.
3. The detailed sort: Create a folder for each year and depending on how far back your digital images go and how many you have you may want to combine years. (ie 1990 – 1999). Within each year, create a folder for each event captured. (ie Holden’s Birthday Party, May Trip to Busch Gardens, Miscellaneous)
4. The backup: Now that you have each of your folders labeled and photos sorted within, you need to create your redundant backups. Start by saving to an external hard drive. If you also choose a photo service, it will be easy to create “albums” from each of your folders – or by year if you prefer.
Photo organization is a huge project when you are starting from scratch but it doesn’t have to be when you maintain your system. At the end of each year, create a new space for the next year. For printed photos that might be a new box or album. For digital, it is as easy as creating a newly dated folder. As photos come into the house in print or digitally, add them to that year’s location. Just having a home for photos means you are less likely to scatter them about and more likely to treasure them. Make a note to yourself that each Thanksgiving you will get ready for the end of year gifts. Most photo service companies offer fantastic Black Friday deals on photo books. Creating a photo book capturing the best memories from the year is easy when you have them all in one place!
Photo Organizing Services
If this feels too overwhelming, imagine having it done for you! Call Imagine Home Organization today and have your photos in order now. We will also create photo books for you.