Tuesday, July 31, 2012

27 Guest Post: Fresh Tips for Organizing your Family’s Photos

I am honored and excited to welcome Kate Hare today, who is stopping by to share some great tips for getting all of those family photos organized!



Here she is now!



Gone are the days of needing to be stingy with pictures; no longer are we limited by the cost of film or the time it takes to get a roll developed at the drugstore. But thanks to the explosion in photography-related technologies, our generation is now faced with a new problem – trying to keep all those digital photo files from getting out of hand.
  
Whether you’ve got memory sticks stuffed into shoe boxes, files clogging up your hard drive – or even shots strewn across social networks to share with friends and family – it’s time to get your collection in order once and for all. After all, there's no organizing project that will give you a greater sense of satisfaction or a more wonderful way to show and share your family’s story for years to come. 


Here are a few of my fresh tips for getting a grip on the situation if you’re in digital photo overload:  

  1. Have an objective. Most of us get knee-deep into organizing and then lose momentum without a clear focus. Decide beforehand what your goals are, and then make a plan (or plans) of attack. Say, for example, you want to get better about sharing recent shots of your new baby as she’s growing. You’ll want to focus on finding an automated method for uploading and sharing, versus a longer-term project, such as organizing and creating an heirloom of family vacation photos.
  2. Break-ups are good. I’m not talking about the romantic kind, but the need for a large project like this to be broken into bite-sized pieces. Don’t try to attack it all in one afternoon; you’ll run out of time {and motivation} and before you know it, another year will go by, along with several thousand more images to be added to your stockpile. Instead, try dividing photos by type {print, digital, etc.}, theme {college, baby, etc.} or passage of time {one year, five years, etc.} and tackle a section at a time.
  3.  When in doubt, go digital. Not everyone is on board with uploading the entire family archive to the web, but it’s actually easier and more secure than you think – plus, working with one format streamlines the process. Keep prints on hand if you like hard copies for frames and albums, but consider scanning and housing your collection online for easy access and safekeeping in the event of an unforeseen disaster {house fire, flood, etc.}.
  4. Edit with abandon. Repeat after me: The best tool for organizing photos is the delete button! OK, if even the thought of tossing out one shot of your family’s smiling faces sends you into a guilt-induced panic, consider this: Would you rather look at 25 gorgeous shots of an event, or slog through hundreds of so-so ones? {And as a bonus, use this time to fix up borderline shots with free editing software where you can remove red-eye, crop and brighten to give new life to old photos}
  5. Don’t just sit there...do something! Finally, remember that your photos are special, so treat them as such. Invest in organizing, and then think about what you can do to showcase those memories. Create photo books, rotate your favorites in frames, get creative with collages, share in an online scrapbook and much, much more. Alone, they are captured moments, but together, they are an important narrative of your family’s time together.

Have other tips for organizing your most prized memories? We would love to hear them in the comments below.


Many thanks again to Kate for stopping by with some great tips and ideas to get us motivated to preserve and organize our most cherished photos!


27 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips. What would you suggest to use as an online photo storage site?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly my question! It's something I've been thinking about, but haven't got around to as I don't really know where to start...

      Delete
    2. There are a few great ones such as Photbucket and Flickr, but you can also back up hard drives and computers automatically by using sites such as Crashplan.

      Hope that helps!

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  2. Some really good advice, thanks. I have started saving images into folders by month and year, working through our most recent photos first as it is easier to remember the dates and places!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's always the most difficult to delete pictures. I hate doing this, but my hard drive makes me to do so.
    Thanks for the great tips!
    Love,
    J

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great tips! I organize my pictures in "My Pictures" in Windows 7. I have a folder for each year, a sub-folder for each month, and another sub-folder for "Favorites." I also will do a sub-folder if I have a bunch of pictures from a special event, but I usually limit that to birthday parties and Christmas. I love digital scrapbooking, and I will sometimes make a sub-folder with all of the pictures I know I want to use on a scrapbook page.

    For back-up and storage, I use two things: CrashPlan and Flickr. CrashPlan costs me about $5.00/month, and is always running in the background, uploading my documents and pictures to its online server. If I ever have a computer problem and lose everything, I can restore it all from CrashPlan. I also try to remember to upload photos each month to my Flickr account. I have the Flickr Pro account, which costs $25/year, but they also have free accounts. If I accidentally delete a photo or have a computer crash, I can download the pictures from Flickr (If I uploaded them before the problem) and they go right back onto my hard drive (at full-size, high resolution). Flickr also makes it easy for me to share photos with grandparents since I can just send them a link and they can also download the full size version. I think my favorite thing about Flickr is that I can easily set the permissions for each photo. If I'm posting a picture to my blog, I can set it for everyone to be able to see it, or if it's something I only want family to see, it is super easy to do that too. Anyway... that's how I organize my photos! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for sharing! It seems as though you have a really great and reliable plan! Love it!

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  5. I don't know why I didn't know this sooner, but I just discovered that all my pictures I've ever uploaded to our family blog have been backed up on Picasa. I recently upgraded to a larger storage, and now have all our family photos backed up online. :)

    And, thanks for the reminder that is OK to delete. I'm the world's worst at having 15 shots that all look the same.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have to agree about deleting some photo's in today's age with digital camera's we snap snap away unlike the old days where you had to pay for each snap you made.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was actually hoping this would be about organizing PRINTED photos. Do I make a Snapfish book or do I print out each photo and store them in binders with photo pages?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is completely a personal preference. I do both! :) I do an annual photo book, and use photo albums for more specific occasions and trips.

      xoxo!
      Jen

      Delete
    2. I love the idea of creating yearly family photo albums! I enjoy iPhoto, on my Mac but my friends have used all sorts of programs. My favorite part is how easy it is to order multiple copies for my parents and inlaws!

      Delete
  8. I need to learn more about "cloud" services. I know I should use them to protect my photos but I don't have a clue. Any help with that would be great. Also should I store on my computer hard drive, get a specific external hard drive specific for pictures. How to store the hours and hours of video that we have? I have just recently converted from tape to DVD, now what????

    ReplyDelete
  9. I try very hard to delete with abandon. So many photos--even digital--are overwhelming. The bad ones go unless they are the only ones I have from a particular situation AND they evoke some strong reaction in me. In that case, a bad/blurry photo is better than no photo.

    ReplyDelete
  10. There are many free sites to store your photos. I recommend storing them with at least 2 different sites. I had a site close & had to move hundreds of pics, it took forever!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Timely post. I am in the process of scanning precious photos to my hard drive and was just thinking about how to back them up. Was going to invest in an external hard drive but will look into one of the services suggested in these comments. Thanks, all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband is a techy guy and suggests using both. Externals will ultimately die or stop working and then what? Crashplan is one that will actually backup your external, so you have double protection in case of your hard drive locking or a fire.

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  12. Great tips and motivation! I have a closet full of photos and frames that I keep refusing to look at. This gave me a game plan!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post! I upload them into iphoto and try to delete/edit right then and there and then divide into event folders. At the end of every year (I try to) burn that years pictures to a CD and print a few from each event. I put those in an album that I label 1, 2, 3, etc. on the binding and then tape the CD to the inside cover of one of the albums. Then I delete the pictures from iphoto to make room for more! PHEW!

    http://www.twoboroughs.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, I have a difficult question for me, hopefully not for you. I stored 5 years of photos and videos in and external drive, I think the brand is Iomega. One day, by accident, it fell from the table to the floor. When I tried to connect it again, it didn't work. I have tried a technician to fix it, but he can not do it, he told me that there are companies is the US (I am writing form Lima, Peru) that specialize in recovering data from broken disks. Is this true and can you refer me to this companies? Thank you so much! as you can imagine, I don't want to loose 5 years of my life, specially of my kids being born and growing up! Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen!

      So sorry to hear that, that is my biggest fear as well. I will check with my husband since he is a techy guy for a living, he may know of something. I will followup if I get an awesome answer for you. :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
    2. Thank you Jen!

      Delete
    3. Hi Karen!

      Like you, I recently lost my hard drive and about 1 1/2 years of photos (including photos of my youngest at birth and beyond). My tech guys told me about Kroll OnTrack for data recovery since they weren't able to recover anything themselves. There are others too, but OnTrack is closer to me. You could do a search for data recovery services in the US to compare services.

      I was also told about Carbonite as cloud storage for any files on your computer (or smartphone too). Like Crashplan, it automatically backs up any new files and any files that have been changed.

      Good luck to you!

      Delete
  15. Do you have any tips for online storage of digital video files? For example: I have digital video from 3 devices: camcorder, iphone video and camera video. They are all organized on my computer & external drives but I don't know how to back them up outside of our home in case of a disaster. Video files are huge, so that has been my dilemma.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Family photos are very special to us. They help remind us about the happy events in our lives. We should be able to have a back-up on the files to prevent us from permanently deleting them.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love blogging about our family. As I blog I put the words and pictures in a book from Shutterfly. By the end I have detailed descriptions of fun events, as well as the mundane, and only the best pictures! It's been working out great! No more photo albums for me! I should mention all photos are uploaded to Flickr and saved to a disk, which I keep with the blog book for easy access!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great tips and fun to read! I agree "Delete" is the best tool. It frees your mind and time. So, if you can't do anything else with your photos, deleting the ones that aren't your absolute favorite is a great start!

    ReplyDelete

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