One of the things that people find the most difficult to get organised are photos.
We have so many – digital ones spread throughout our computers, on camera cards, on our phones, and physical photos in boxes, cupboards, frames etc… all around the house – and they can easily get out of control.
Of course we want to have photos of our memories, but before long they can get out of hand – so what can be done to tackle the mountains of photos before this happens?
Here are my top tips to help you (I will go into more detail in later posts, but its more of an overview for now).
Save everything on the computer – and BACKUP!
In todays digital world this should be the first place that any new photos get put.
In my home we use dropbox to have a copy saved outside of the computers hard drive as well (in the cloud) – just in case the computer packs up one day and all is lost. The very last thing you want to have to deal with is the loss of all those precious memories – so get things backed up as soon as you can.
Another trick for older physical photos is to scan them into the computer and save as well – that way you have a copy of these too – its time consuming but so worth it!
Filing photos on the computer
I advise a really simple filing format on your computer so that its really easy to access things when you want them, and the easier the system is for you to use, the more likely you are going to actually use it and stick with it.
Usually the easiest way is to have a folder per year, then month, then specific events within that month – something like the example here. You can see that in April 2013 we had a trip to Amsterdam, and there are also folders for any artwork that I scan from my daughter, and general photos that we took during the month.
That way, when it comes to finding things, we can very quickly scan and see what we need.
Its also really handy when it comes to creating a yearbook as its all in chronological order.
You may prefer to sort by person, or by event only – but I honestly think that a timeline is much easier way to find things, and you can always have a folder in each month for each person if you want to go further as well.
Oh yes, and I also make sure that the photos have a title of something relevant to whats in it – i.e. “At the Zoo – Monkeys!”, or “Chrissy playing in garden with Jenna” etc…. If you don’t do this small step then you run the risk of not knowing what the photo was, and then a memory is lessened.
Whether they are physical photos or digital photos, once you have collected them all together and sorted into year and month then is the time to declutter any photos that don’t add anything to the collection.
Get rid of duplicates and bad photos – so you only have the best for keepsakes (after all – you won’t ever want to use the bad ones again – so why let them clutter up the space!).
Don’t print off all your photos
The beauty of digital photos is that fact that you don’t have to get everything printed off. Be selective on what you want to display and only print off exactly what you need to save space.
You can’t possible display everything!
Even albums are becoming less commonplace nowadays as people can look at slideshows from their TV or computer.
(NB – whatever you do printout, add an explanation of what it is on the back (and date if possible) – then as you come to swap displayed photos around or replace with more up to date ones, you can easily add into your storage in the right day/month etc….
Think outside of the box for displaying photos
- Why not have a digital photo frame? That way you can easily display loads of photos and every time you walk past you will see a different one.
- Create a photo book for special memories – I create one for each year for our family, and for special events – and they are a beautiful keepsake.
- Create a memory box and an album for each member of the family – add special photos for each child, and create a really special keepsake for each of them. Would make a great 18th Birthday gift!
- What do you find beautiful? Create a noticeboard, a scrapbook, an album etc… – whatever makes you happy and more likely to want to look at the photos more – after all – that the goal!
- I have created a calendar with photos of my daughter and her cousins for the grandparents Christmas present which worked really well as they had loads of photos on them and had a change each month! I knew there would be a way to display that picture of her in her pumpkin outfit – and October was perfect!
- Share digital photos with friends by using something like photobox – then just send them a link and a password – this is a fantastic way to share your childrens growth with family abroad, or to keep in touch with family when you are away on holiday for extended periods.
- Use photo boxes for storing older photos – they take up less room than albums and you can use index cards to reference whats in each section.
- Rotate photos around the house so you get to enjoy lots and not just a select few (especially important with children in the house as they grow up)
Think about your camera
What suits you best?
I like to have a good camera on my mobile phone as I always have it with me and can capture moments I would otherwise miss. Other people love to use a proper camera where they can get some incredible shots – its about what works for you.
If you go digital then make the most of technology and et rid of duplicates or bad photos before you even upload them t the computer (and its a great way to be able to check that you have the photo you want before you lose the opportunity to re-take it!)
If you use a camera with film then get into the habit of developing the photos straight away so you don’t lose or damage the film. I also suggest making a copy of really special photos by scanning into the computer – you really won’t want to lose those memories.
Take the time every so often to look through the photos that you have.
I love to look over mine at the end of each year when I am putting my photo book together – its great to reminisce and sort through the year!
And also – why else are you taking all these photos unless you are going to look at them? Otherwise they really are just clutter…..