Sunday, January 16, 2011

Photo Organization--Part 1

I am going to spend some time this month organizing my digital pictures.(I need to delete a lot of pictures.) January is a great time to organize our homes, and our photos could probably use a little tidy as well.

If you take many pictures, it doesn't take long to have them in a mess. Some basic organizing practices can keep things in order. People ask me about this topic often, so I'll pass on some of the things that work for me.

If your photos are a mess, I would recommend working on them a little at a time. It can be too overwhelming to spend long periods of time at the computer. Set a timer and leave the computer when your time is up--you will get them tackled eventually!

First, if you are behind on printing, choose a store that is convenient and set up an account to upload from home. It will make your photo-life sooo much easier. I use Walmart for most of my printing, because I am there frequently and can pick up the prints without making a special trip somewhere else.

my best tip for managing the printing:
When I load pictures onto my computer, I have them all go into a file/folder called "digital camera photos". When you hook up your camera or insert your memory card into your computer, you should see a way to choose where your pictures are going to be stored. Until I made a folder called "digital camera photos" my computer automatically put them into a folder with the date. Every time I loaded pictures on my computer they went into a new folder. I could not keep them organized with this system. Now they load into the same folder everytime I download. They stay in that folder until they are printed, then I move them out. If I decide not to print them, I go ahead and move them to their permanent folder as soon as I can. This plan helps me tremendously, because when I need to place an order for prints, I am not searching through different folders trying to remember what pictures I've taken that have not been printed yet. I try to keep the "digital camera photos" folder from getting too full. When it starts getting a lot of pictures in it, I know it's time to print. If you have another person in your home loading pictures, you have to teach them to follow the same plan in order to keep your process flowing. (Or make them their own folder(s) to keep their pictures separate.)

Next, decide how you want to organize--chronologically or by family members, maybe even by events.
I organize by family member for the most part, since this is how I organize them in photo albums. Remember, the date is part of the permanent file/properties that go with each photo, so you won't lose track of when the pictures were taken.

Go into "pictures" on your computer and make folders to begin sorting photos in to. If you have alot and they are disorganized, start with folders for the years representing your pictures, or possibly start with a folder for each family member. The folder system needs to work for you. Start with general organizing first, then later, within each "big" folder, you can add more folders that are more specific. You can change your system anytime, so don't worry if it's not perfect. If you have a lot of printing to catch up on, make folders for each year and within each year, make another folder that is called "to print"--move them out when they are printed.
-->Use your new system with all the new photos you load, then gradually work on getting the older ones in order.

My folder system (remember I take ALOT of pictures):
one per family member--within those folders are folders for school, sports, friends, dance, birthdays, etc.
one folder called travel--within it is a folder for each trip/vacation we've taken
additional folders for siblings, our family, relatives, pets, friends, and one called all miscellaneous--each has more specific folders within

Spend a few minutes thinking about how you will want the folders arranged when it is time to find an old picture. Will you remember the month/year it was taken or who was in it? Let that help you decide how to organize. Get started! It will feel so great to have them organized!

1 comment: