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.
Would 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.