Where to Start? – Digital Photo Management

Do you have a pile of pictures – or maybe your pictures are scattered, in boxes, drawers – who knows where?

Are all your pictures digital – on your phones, computer, digital cameras?

Do you rely on Facebook or Instagram to store your memories?

Hopefully, I can give you a few pointers so you can get off to a good start without feeling overwhelmed by the volume of pictures you have.

First things First!!  – Make sure your digital pictures are backed up – preferably in 2 places.  I learned this the hard way.  I lost every picture from my family’s first trip to Arches National Park – my youngest son was about 3 – I want to cry everytime I think about it!  I had been manually backing up my photos, but then I got busy and forgot – my hard drive crashed – and those pictures are gone – or corrupted


Start with your phone… many of us capture memories everyday on our smart phones.  You can have these go automatically to a cloud or even your computer – I won’t get into the details since the phone or option you choose could be different, but set up your phone for an automatic back up and you won’t loose a thing if your phone crashes.

What about multiple devices? We have multiple devices in our family.  So at the beginning of the month, I download pictures from the devices that don’t have an automatic download.  I also move pictures from multiple Icloud and Dropbox accounts to my main computer.  The main reason I do this is so when I’m ready to scrapbook something,  all the photos in a single place.

You got them off the devices – now what?  When I take photos off our devices, I store them based on the date.  I have a folder for each month of the year – that’s where the majority of the photos go.  I also have sub-folders for my kids or if there’s a big event.  I have not had too many problems finding pictures using this method – since I can usually remember the time of year and roughly which year – I just start searching the dated folders.

Now that they are on my main computer – I have this set up with an automatic backup (2 actually) – one is a paid cloud back up (I use Carbonite – but there are plenty of choices) the other just goes to the storage on my router.  I have the paid option because it is offsite, unlimited, and I don’t have to think about it – when my computer connects to the internet – anything new/changed is backed up.  I have the onsite just for photos – this one is probably unnecessary – but I can access the pictures from other computers and I can restore them quickly even without internet access.

What about an organizing program?  Recently, I have been uploading photos to Adobe Photo Shop.  Again – I know there are a lot of options, so I won’t go into specifics about this program, but more on why I chose a photo editor/organization program.  I decided that my photo filing was really only easy for me.  If something happens to me – my family won’t really be able to find the pictures without going through everything.  So I decided to use a photo organizing program to tag and catagorize my pictures.  This is helpful for me personally – if there’s a subject I want to scrapbook – I can just filter on those tags (people, places, pets, etc.)  I also liked having the ability to edit some of my pictures to make them look better.

I know I had the ability to tag pictures with the photo viewer that came with my computer, but when I would upgrade a computer, I would end up with a different photo program – so by going with a commercial option, I would have consistency.

But Facebook or Instagram stores my pictures… Yes, I guess you could say this – but then you’re relying on a company with no vested interest in your life or memories to keep those photos available.  Do you remember ‘My Space’? – I know it doesn’t seem that Facebook will go away – but – you just never know.  And that’s also not an easy or efficient way to track down a picture you want to print and put into a scrapbook.

DSC_0166Would you want to lose this cuteness?!  (especially since now they talk back – I need to remember these cute times!)


So – there you go – some tips for ensuring your digital photos stick around.  Whether you end up scrapbooking or not – be sure to back up your photos!!

Do you have any photo management tips?  I’ll move on to physical photos next along with some ideas for tagging/organizing besides a straight chronological system.




5 thoughts on “Where to Start? – Digital Photo Management

    • Gerri Baker March 11, 2017 / 6:03 pm

      Glad to help! I know it can be overwhelming – I like to tackle things like that on short sessions – even if it’s just 10!or 15 minutes at a shot.

      Good luck!!


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