As moms we tend to be shutter bugs and want to capture our kiddos in pictures of their first day of school, first smiles, first foods or just candid moments around the house.
But what do we do with the photos afterwards?
If you are anything like me, they still exist on my camera phone, flash drive, CD’s or even on the SD card from my “nice camera.” You all know what I’m talking about.
Being a professional photographer, I was insistant on organizing my clients photos into beautiful little folders. Where, with just a click of the mouse, I could find anything with the organizing system I created. My families photos on the other hand, looked like a mess. So I decided to implement this very simple system with my personal photos to organize like a pro.
Grab a cup of coffee, set aside a little time and let’s get started…
1. Don’t get overwhelmed- If you have years worth of photos, start at the most current year. Your memory of when and where the photo was taken will be more fresh and easier to organize. Make it easy on yourself!
2. Start with one item- A flash drive, your cameras SD card or your camera phone, start with one.
3. Upload those photos onto your computer- Plug in your flash drive, CD, SD card or your camera phone, again start with the device that has the most current years photos.
4. Decide the storage area- Where on your computer would you would like to store all your photos? Remember keep it simple. I store mine in, My Documents under My Pictures right on my iMac.
5. Start making folders- Since it is 2014 and you should be starting with the current year, make a folder labeled 2014. Within that folder make subfolders for each month, January- December. I labeled my folder with my last name + year ( example: battilana 2014).
6. Drag and Drop- Now you can drag and drop images that you previously uploaded from your device, into the folder for that month the image was taken. For example if you have photos of your kids during the summer at the 4th of July fireworks show on your camera phone, you can drag and drop them into the July folder. Easy peasy, right?
7. Delete and combine– Next, after you have dragged an dropped all of 2014 images into the months of folders. Give yourself a pat on the back you are almost done. Now start with the month of January and delete any images within that folder you do not want. This will help weed out duplicates and save only the best memories you want in each month. Then search through additional photos in that month and combine several photos together if they are of the same event by making a new folder with that event name. For example in my April 2014 folder, there were several photo of my kids playing with their cousin. So I made a folder called Day with cousin Chase, and put all the photos from that event in that folder. Continue this step for the remainder of the months in the year.
8. Repeat Steps 5, 6 & 7 for previous years- I only have 4 years worth of photos done but I can’t tell you how great that feels. After you finish with 2014, go to the next year 2013. Take your time, do a little at a time and enjoy looking through some of these fun memories you had.
9. Do Step 3 EVERY TIME Don’t let that hard work go to waste after you are done. Once a month upload your monthly images into your monthly folder. Set 15-20 min. aside at the end of the month to do this step and you’ll be on top of it year after year.
10. Back it up- We all know computers can crash, devices can corrupt and digital media doesn’t keep forever. So back up your photos NOW, get them off that CD, flash drive or camera phone and onto a backup system other than your computer like iCloud, dropbox, mozy, Shutterfly and many more. Find a back up system you like and go with that. Remember these are your most precious family memories, take gentle care of them.
With all the fun holiday months coming up this is the perfect time to start your photo organizing with all those adorable pictures you’ll be taking of the kids. Plus, after you organize your photos, they are easy to print and put into albums or just make a photo album through and online source.
I’m sure there are many ways to do the same thing, but I have found this is the system that works for me, plus helps with cutting back on the amount of photos that I store!
If you have fantastic tips and tricks to organizing your photos we’d love to hear from you. Share below for everyone to benefit.