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.

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