Photo Organizing for Teenage Girls

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If you are lucky enough to have a teenage girl in your life…you know she has a LOT of photos.

 

Today I want to talk about photo organizing for teens. As many of you know, young people today take more photos in an hour than past generations took in a lifetime. This is due to easy access to digital cameras and the huge role social media takes in our world.

While many of the concepts in organizing for teens are the same as organizing adult digital photos, there are a few unique quirks. Teenagers are much more technologically savvy than most of us, they take WAY more photos, they have a robust social media presence, and they are more vulnerable to digital exploitation and bullying.

I recently heard a mother lamenting that her daughter’s computer had crashed because of the HUGE amount of digital photos saved to the hard-drive. I’m guessing many of you can relate. The mother believed the daughter had over 20,000 pictures saved. That’s a lot. Digital photo files are HUGE. They eat up your space.

 

One solution is to make sure that you have a regular, scheduled digital copies deletion. What many of us forget, not just teens is that unless you are diligent every time you throw a filter on a photo or do a little editing the computer saves multiple copies of that image. When you consider how many photos the average teenage girl takes and then add all the edited photos on top…it can add up fast.

After making sure that all the duplicates are deleted, the next step is to get your photos off your teen’s hard-drive. That can be either through a family cloud sharing service or an external hard-drive. I use both. I use Forever for my cloud service. I’ve never found a better cloud service. Forever is top of the line in data protection, ease of use, and affordability. That being said, I also use an external hard-drive.    I back up my entire computer on a bi-monthly basis and keep my hard-drive in my fireproof safe. Both are great. What’s important is that you have an easy to use system…that your teen will use.

 

While your teenage girl is undoubtedly more tech-savvy than any adult you know, she may need some guidance on what types of photos she saves and publishes. A lot of teen photo organizing is acting as an advisor about what photos to save.

The world we live in is consumed with social media and branding. If it’s not on Facebook it didn’t happen. If you don’t have 1,000 followers on Instagram you’re doing something wrong. This emphasis on having a “hot brand” adds a lot of pressure to young people, especially young women to depict themselves on social media as more mature than they are. It also makes them vulnerable to people who would exploit their naiveté.

One of the hardest, most frustrating conversations you will ever have in your life is trying to convince a teenage girl that she’s not as socially savvy as she thinks she is.

 

I’d rather poke myself with a sharp stick but sometimes it needs to be done. My advice is to stick with the concept of branding.

If you focus on asking her if her photo library, especially the photos she posts, are the best reflection of her brand you will get much further than asking if she wants to send her father to an early grave….and never get into college…and end up flipping burgers…and…and…and….

Your daughter understands branding, she has a brand….you may have never thought of it but you have a brand. We all do. Mine is photo organizer, wife, beagle lover, family adorer and that brand is reflected on my Instagram account (@thehodgepodgegirl). You won’t see a lot of off-brand photos of me….no bikini pictures.

When you discuss with your teenager what she wants her brand to be, emphasize that this isn’t about being a phony or having a false image. It’s not about trying to be what you think will be popular. It’s about showcasing your true self. You want people to come away from looking at your photo library feeling like they know you a little better.

I’ve put together a Photo Organizing for Teens bundle that will help you to guide your teenage girl through organizing her own photo library.

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As you work with her…think about your digital photos and social media presence…Are you on brand?

Review of Three Common Duplicate Photo File Finders

Today I’m going to give a quick review of three common duplicate photo file finders.

 

When I meet with clients who are interested in organizing their digital files I have three initial questions:

  1. What do you want to use these photos for?
  2. How many digital photos do you have?
  3. What software or app do you use to delete duplicates?

The first question is: Why are you working with your digital photo now?

Is it because you have an event coming up? Or is it because you’ve finally reached the breaking point of not being able to find your photos?

The second question is the heart of digital photo organizing.

How many? You would be amazed. I am all the time.

I am amazed at the number of my own photo collection. I routinely get an answer in the 10s of thousands. To hear someone say 20,000 is not unusual. Can you imagine 20,000 photographs?! It’s mind-boggling. It’s no wonder people feel overwhelmed.

My third question is often met with a blank look…what duplicate removal software do you use?

Few people scan their photos for duplicates. The person who has 20,000 images…I would bet at least 7,000 are duplicates. Perhaps not exact duplicates but the same image with a different filter or a different cropping. Close enough that if you removed the “Meh” photos you would be left with a lot more space on your hard-drive and a much better photo library.

Here is a quick review of three of the most common duplicate photo file finders:

photo file finder|digital photos|organizing tips

5 Steps To Organize Your Family Photos For Cloud Storage

 

Are your family photos stored in the cloud?

How much space do you have left in the cloud?

Tell me about your backup strategy…do you use an external hard-drive, an online service, a zip file on a thumb drive, or are you strictly cloud-based?

 

These are standard questions that photo organizers like me ask every day and they are overwhelming. It can be SO confusing and disheartening when all you want to do is make sense of your family photos and suddenly you feel like an A-class technical dummy.

We’ve all been there…I’m there whenever anyone asks me about the storage capabilities of my phone…I don’t know…and I don’t care. There I’ve said it.

What the well-meaning person above is asking you is what method do you use to store your photos. It’s the same as asking do you prefer print photos, or digital, or slides. The technology has just developed new words and you should not be intimidated if you haven’t learned them yet. You will. I can help.

Today I want to talk about photo cloud storage. If you’re confused about what that means right now you are not alone.

 

Technically: it’s a way of storing your photos digitally on a server.

Practically: think of it as a giant file cabinet in someone else’s office.

The bottom-line goal of storing your photos in the cloud is that they won’t take up space in your space, photos are space HOGS, and if something happens to your computer, natural or technological disaster, your photos are still safe.

It’s the safest, easiest, most effective way to preserve your family photos. I strongly recommend it to all my clients. However, saving your photos to the cloud also happens to be the method you have the least control over and that can be tough when it comes to something as precious as your family photo history.

I’m going to give you 5 tips for organizing your family photos for digital cloud storage.

 

  1. Sort through your photos and place the photos you want to store in their own folder. 

You don’t have to save every photo onto the cloud. Cloud space is generally limited and there is no reason to have all of your Instagram or Facebook pictures saved. Those platforms are already saving those shots for you.

 

  1. Edit your photos before you upload/send them to the cloud.

While some cloud services let you edit photos after they are uploaded most do not. And even those who do, the editing functions are not great. So, take a moment to make sure all your photos are turned the right way. The lighting is right. The cropping is perfect. The filter is awesome. Bottom line: only send finished pieces to the cloud, not projects.

 

  1. Check your meta-data.

Did I just scare you with another word you have NO idea what it means? Breathe deep…you got this. It’s another term people will throw around to sound techy and is actually just another word for information. So, take a minute and check that the date is right. If there’s location info or facial recognition that it’s right…turns out the Mona Lisa is NOT my friend…whatever.

 

  1. Rename your pictures.

When you take a digital photo it gets a name like this: IMG_2433.jpg

Not a lot of help there. In the future when you visit your pictures in the cloud this is going to mean next to nothing to you.

What you want your photo’s name to look like is this: 2003-09-Honeymoon-Boston-Newport-Nantucket.jpg

I know without even seeing the image that this is a photo from my September 2003 honeymoon trip to Boston, Newport, and Nantucket…very helpful.

 

  1. Tag.

If you read my blog… or talk to me for five minutes you’ve heard about tagging. Those are the little words/phrases that get attached to each photo so that you can do quick searches. I recommend that you tag the heck out of your photos as a HUGE favor to your future self.

 

Let’s say time has gone by…you’ve just returned from a fantastic ski vacation with your friends and want to send a cute photo book as a thank you. An easy way to take a cute gift and make it an amazing gift is to add older photos. Now, if you tagged those old photos all you have to do is go to your cloud service type in “ski trip” and Bam!! all your old photos of ski trips pop up…how easy is that?! You can make an awesome gift with little work. If you haven’t…ugh…settle in for a long search…

 

I hope this post has not only given you some insight into preparing your family photos for cloud storage but has reduced some of the anxiety I know many have about cloud storage. It’s not anything to be intimidated by. It’s just a different way to store your photos.

 

What are some of the questions or concerns you have about cloud storage?

Organizing Family Photos

Are you overwhelmed by the idea of organizing your family photos?

I have photos…you have photos…we all have photos!

So. Many. Photos. By several experts opinions, we are reaching the point of 1 trillion photos taken annually worldwide. ONE TRILLION!! And that number only includes new photos were taken, not the boxes and boxes of physical photos that we have inherited from beloved family members. To say that we have a photo storage problem is an understatement. We are drowning in photographs. What to do with all those treasured family photos?

I know that sounds overwhelming. I know your busy doing your best for your family. I know that “getting organized” is one of the top New Year’s resolutions every year. I know that you love your family memories and have real concerns about how to store and save and share these precious mementos.

That’s why I’m here. I’m here to give you a real plan on how to save these beauties, how to share them with your friends and family, and how to set up a system that will let you access every single one of your photos and is an easy way to organize your future photos.

Can you do that? You ask…Heck ya!

 

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.” Mr. Rogers

If you’ve stumbled on this blog, I’m guessing you have because you believe that family photos are valuable. Let me tell you, you’re not alone.

We’ve all had the heart-wrenching experience of believing a treasured photo lost only to feel the relief when we find it tucked away safe. Many of us have also had the profound joy of finding a photo; perhaps of us with someone passed, that we didn’t know existed.

This is me with my grandpa, you’ll hear a lot about him on this blog, the last time I saw him before he passed away. He was giving me a hug goodbye. We loved each other; I think you can tell that by the photo. The thing is…I didn’t know this photo existed. A few months after he passed my Mom mentioned in passing that she found a photo on her phone that she thought I’d like to have. When I saw it…I cried. I’m crying now. That’s the power of a little piece of paper. It gives us back people we’ve lost, places we won’t return to, events that cannot be recreated.

I’m excited to help you reconnect with yourself and your family.

5 Tips For Organizing Digital Photos

I’ve always organized photos. Well, I’ve always organized everything but photos are my favorite. I love the idea that each photo tells a little story. A moment frozen in time. A small window into another’s life or even your own from another perspective. It’s art and life and memories all rolled into one. When it comes to organizing digital photos we have the capability of recording every moment not just the occasional.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Can you believe it? Only ten years…and boy has the world changed. Not only are we all technically connected at all times…we take more photos in a year that had been taken in the 100 previous years.

It’s no wonder so many of us feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of digital photos in our lives. We are inundated. Here are a quick five things you can do today to help slow the flood of digital pictures into your life.

1.DELETE: Go to your photo library on your phone and delete all the “bad” photos. What I mean is fuzzy, weird, why did I take that photo on your phone. Also, unless you love the original photo, delete the originals you cropped, filtered, or otherwise improved. There’s no reason to keep a badly lit, poorly framed original when you’ve already improved it for publishing on social media.

  1. DUPLICATES: Run photo duplicate removal software through your photo library. Duplicates are a huge pain and it’s super fun to get rid of them. I LOVE easy duplicate finder. It works for either mac or pcs…which is handy if you have both. AND it is really easy to use.
  2. ORGANIZE: Now it gets personal. How do you want to access your photos? To make it easy..I recommend using a yearly system. Then sorted by themes/events (2017: ski trips). The most important thing is to go from the largest theme to the smallest.
  3. TAG: This part is so important, maybe the most important. You MUST tag your photos. If you want to do anything with your photos (gifts, albums, photo montage, sharing) you must be able to search easily. If you just dump all your photos into a 2017 folder, you will be creating a lot of work for your future self. Just slow down take a minute and tag the dang things. I recommend tagging the heck out of them (people, places, event, year). You want to be able to search for as much as possible. It makes life much easier later.
  4. BACK UP: You must have a backup plan. I say this a lot. It’s one of my foundational beliefs about life, not just photos. So, what’s your plan b? Computers crash, photos get deleted, natural disasters happen…what’s your plan for your irreplaceable photos? You have a lot of options depending on: how much you want to spend, how much time you want to spend, how you share your photos, and how comfortable you are with technology. I use Forever because it’s easy, safe, and easy to share. It is a cloud service and there was a fee involved. I have clients who prefer to use an external hard drive, I recommend picture keeper. And others just use a “free” cloud service.

It really is up to you and what you feel comfortable with.

One thing I will say about those “free” cloud services like Dropbox, google photo or Amazon’s cloud service…read your terms of service (TOS). They change often and your “free” use of a 3rd party service may mean you’ve signed away your digital copyright.

That may not mean anything to you now but it should. I’ll cover more on digital data mining and digital copyright in a future post. It’s an important topic and getting more important as we upload our lives into the cloud.

As you can see, organizing your digital photos is a little different than organizing print photos. Technology has made taking photos easier than ever. I think that’s a wonderful thing. However, it does mean that we need to be a little more vigilant about organizing before our once in a lifetime photos get lost in bad selfies, pocket photos, and pictures we forgot why we took.

#1 Thing You Can Do To Organize Your Photos

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. Read more about this in our disclosure policy.

 

“What is the ONE thing I can do to organize my photos?”

I get it. You’re busy. You know it’s important to take care of your photos but sheesh…can a person get a break?

My top, top, top photo organizing advice…or really when it comes to organizing anything…is to get everything in ONE  spot. You cannot know what you have if you don’t know where it all is.

If you have your photos all in one place..voila! You’re on your way to getting organized. But I’m guessing that you have a few gems hidden away. Get sleuthing!

 

Concentrating all your pictures into one spot is the absolute must first step. If you do nothing else, just get all your photos together. Sounds easy…right???

I’ll make it even easier: Follow these two steps…or three if you’re a real go-getter.

First, pick a place to keep your photos (that is not your phone or a memory card).  It can be the photo service that came with your computer operating system. It can be a free service like Google Photos, an add-on service like Amazon Prime Photo, or a paid cloud service like Forever. I won’t go into all the reasons today why one is vastly better than the others but I will say that I use Forever and LOVE it.

Now round-up all your photos. Places they may be hiding: your phone, your camera, your email, your Facebook, cloud, pictures, photo, random memory cards. And those are JUST the digital photos. If you want to organize ALL your photos you’ll need to track down all of those random print photos as well.

Last, if you are feeling really motivated and tracked down all of your print photos…the next step would be to get them digitized. Hopefully, you have someone locally that can do the work for you. If not there are several services I’ve used in the past that are trustworthy and do a fantastic job. I’ll go over them in a future post.

That’s it. That’s your best, first step. Just get everything in one place. It sounds so simple but it is the foundation for any sort of organizing you’ll want to do throughout this year and beyond.

 

I’m excited to help you on your journey to get organized. Please do not feel overwhelmed. It’s just following a series of small steps. As we move through the year, you will praise the heavens again and again that you made this first step to finally get your photos organized.

Four Tips To Declutter and Organize Your Digital Photos

 

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December 2016 Facebook Statistic

The above quote is from Facebook. They are a photo storage giant. 90 billion photos. Can you imagine?!

 

Here’s the thing…I bet you can. I bet you feel like you have nine billion photos on your phone alone. You probably have another 60 in the cloud…whatever that means? And 160 billion on your hard drive. Let’s face it…we have a lot of digital photos. A LOT. I find the Facebook statistic fascinating because, that’s a lot of photos, that statistic is JUST Facebook. It doesn’t even include Instagram (which Facebook owns) or Twitter or holy cow…Snapchat!! We are drowning in digital photos. I know I am. By my last count, I’m at 30,000. That’s unique images. Not to mention why must iPhoto do that weird face thing? Why?! Does anyone like it? I will say it does give me a chuckle when it picks out my dog’s face or I have one of the Mona Lisa who it thinks is a friend of mine…awesome.

Here are five tips that will help you to organize and declutter your part of the 200 million photos before they get uploaded to Facebook.

 

This first step is crucial. You have to get all your photos into one place. Please do not say “Hodgepodge Girl…they are ALL on my phone!” I will save my rant about leaving photos on your phone for another day. For now, download them to whatever photo service you use: iPhoto, Google photo, Amazon, Window’s photo gallery, Forever, Lightroom

 

 

  1. Delete Duplicates. I like to use Photo Sweeper for macs and Duplicate Photo Fixer Pro for PCs. DPFP is capable of doing both…I just prefer PS.
  2. Now that you have a good idea of how many original photos you have…you need to start deleting. This is usually the hardest part for people because keeping the image seems easier than deleting. It’s not. I’ve   even had clients who had no idea who people in the photo were…but were sure they should keep it. Why?! I might figure it out someday. Ahem…no you won’t.  No one is so bored they peruse old digital photos to see if they can remember people they forgot. It’s not going to happen. Delete.
  3. Your photo collection is now so clean and shiny. It’s time to start tagging. This is a step that is often overlooked because…it’s tedious. We all love the instant gratification of taking a photo, some even download them, but NO ONE wants to tag…before it lands on social media. The thing is tagging…before you upload to your Facebook is VERY, VERY important for you. It makes it really easy to find pictures later on if you should want to use them for gifts or slideshows or just quick trip down memory lane. I recommend tagging the following info: YEAR, EVENT, PERSON (2016, Park City Ski Trip, Danny) That way you can do really quick searches to pull up a great range of photos. Some fun ideas would be a year in review slideshow, a calendar for Danny, a photo album of ski trips. So get tagging!
  4. Now that you have your digital photo collection organized, decluttered, tagged it’s time to get it off your hard drive. There are a lot of great cloud services. I use Forever and I love it. I have an app on my phone and iPad so I can have all my photos handy and they don’t take up any of my storage space. I can make quick gifts and have them shipped. I can even share photo albums with my friends and family. Not to mention they are safe from technical glitches (dropping my phone) that can happen when your photos aren’t backed up.

I hope this has given you some great ideas on how to move digitally clutter free into the New Year. Happy 2017!!

 

Hodgepodge Girl’s Seven Steps To Creating Unique Photo Books

*This post may contain affiliate or referral links. Read more about this in our disclosure statement. 

We all want to give gifts that mean something. I know this time of year it can get amazingly frustrating when the time is short, money is shorter, and the lines could not get any longer. I’m here to suggest a better gift than yet another gift card. Make your giftee a photo book!

“Well, that’s great Hodgepodge Girl…who. has. the. time. And…it sounds expensive and hard.”

Well…now that you mentioned it my bedraggled (don’t you love that word!) and overwhelmed holiday elf….it is not. Here are my seven easy steps to creating a gift that has meaning, will be loved, and won’t break the bank.

**The featured picture of this post is from one of the annual road trips I take with my brother, Wade. I’ll use this as my example and Wade as my giftee.

Step #1     Give your book a theme (a theme song is even better). For my book I’m choosing “Road Trippin” and my theme song is “On the road again…” By Mr. Willie Nelson

Step #2     Create a folder/album on your computer with the title of your photo book….example “Road Trippin”

Step #3     Look through all your photos and just pull any that you feel should show up in a book about road trips. Do not over think this part. It doesn’t matter if the person you’re giving the gift to was originally associated with the picture, as long as it references the theme. If I had an interesting picture of a gas pump, old car, or tire, I would add it to the folder. Next, you want to add pictures of the person you’re giving the gift to and pictures of you with the person. Get creative. Just keep adding photos. The more to choose from the better.

Some I would add to this book:

funphotobooksatthehodgepodgegirl
Route 66
hodgepodgegirl
Our road trippin parents

The pictures are connected by the theme of my brother, myself, and the road.

 

Step #4     Now that you’ve added a lot of pictures to your folder, go through and edit/delete. What I look for in keepers are: photos that fit the theme, are interesting/funny and emphasize the connection I want to share with the other person.

This isn’t a slam book so keep embarrassing pictures to a minimum and highlight your loved one having fun. A picture of my brother drooling all over while he sleeps would make me laugh but probably not him. This is a great time to break out those fantastic filters also. Get old-timey!

Step #5     Create that book! Since I moved all my photos to Forever for storage I’ve used them for everything. I’ve been very happy with the service. It’s a fantastic way to create unique photo books and even calendars. The other service I recommend is Shutterfly. They make it really easy to create personalized gifts. Both of these services have templates that you pick, upload the photos, and bam! Your all done. You can add quotes, song lyrics, your own comments as to why this theme is special.

As for price…a really nice photo book should run you about $15-40. I think that’s a great price for a unique holiday gift.

Step #6     Review! Review! Review! Take the time to go through your file/album and make sure that you didn’t miss any gems. I speak from experience when I’ve given the gift only to realize that I forgot the best picture! My advice is to double-check, triple-check.

Step #7     Give that present! And sit back in gift giving heaven. You created a unique, thoughtful gift. You were creative and generous with your time. You strengthen your connection with someone you care about. And you didn’t break the bank. All in all, I call photo books the perfect present.

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Wade & I at the north rim of THE grand canyon…unforgettable!

3 Tips For Organizing Neat and Tidy Photo Albums

Don’t hate me…but I am the girl who got a pony for Christmas.

 

She was…and I’m not joking here…under my tree. I have the photo evidence: me, my dog, and the winter wonderland that was that Christmas to prove it.

I’m hoping that this holiday season you and your family have spectacular, wonderful, magical memories that you will cherish forever. At the very least, I hope you have super fun photos that you can use to extort family members for years. It’s often a season of odd choices…fashion-wise.

Today, I want to help you wrangle the plethora of holiday photos you’ll take in neat and tidy order and give you a few tips on what to do with the photos you already have.

Tip #1

Go through your digital photos while they are still on your phone and delete, delete, delete. You will save yourself a lot of time if you just take a minute to delete your photos before they get to the cloud and it becomes a huge chore of how to delete this gosh darn thing?! Been there, done that.

Tip #2

Make a folder on your computer (Holiday 2016) and upload your photos off your phone regularly. If you have kids, I would say daily. For the rest of us make a point of doing it at least twice this month.

Tip #3

Use a service like shutterfly to make physical photo albums of your holiday photos. They are not expensive, they make fantastic gifts, and they are much easier to store than traditional photo albums. This is an especially great tip if you have little ones and grandparents who don’t get to see them during the holidays. It’s a fantastic way to share your joy.

I hope these tips were helpful for how to set up a simple system for keeping your holiday photos neat and tidy. I cannot give a strong enough recommendation to preserving and sharing your holiday photos. If not for yourself, then for your family.

Holiday memories shared bring more joy than even the best present.

If you have a moment, please share a treasured holiday memory or gift that really touched your heart.