TIPS FOR ORGANIZING YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOS
One of the primary components of spring cleaning is trying to get rid of the clutter. In this digital age, I expect that for most of us less of our clutter is piling up on our counter and more is crowding our hard drives.
Today it seems rarely a moment goes by that we don’t capture with our phone or camera, so a great place to start to declutter your digital life is to organize all those digital photos. Here are some tips that I find very helpful.
DON’T SAVE IT ALL
Now I know your child is adorable but do you really need 20+ pictures of his/her first soccer game. NO. Keep the best three or four. If it is blurry, over/underexposed, you already have a similar image – toss it! Do this when you upload your images to your computer and you will save yourself a lot of time in the future.
CREATE FOLDERS (lots of them)
I speak from experience when I say it is a nightmare to search for a photo in a folder that contains hundreds of images. Avoid these headaches by creating folders and sub-folders to organize your files.
I like to create a folder of personal photos for each year (e.g. 2015 Family Photos). Go on to create sub-folders for different events that year as they occur (e.g. Susie’s 1st Birthday, Weekend Trip to the Mountains, etc).
Rename your files within each of these sub-folders so you can easily search by key words. The label could include an event description, the date and a number (e.g. Susie_1st_birthday_2012_ 001.jpg, Susie_first_soccer_game_2016_ 001.jpg, Susie_prom_2029_ 001.jpg). Just imagine how much easier it will be to create that album for Susie’s graduation.
You want to make sure you preserve these memories you have taken the time to create and capture so make sure they are stored in at least two locations. An external hard drive is a good choice (you can get 1TB of storage for around $70). Flickr, a wonderful photo sharing service that offers 1TB of free photo storage, is also a great option. And, the cloud back up service, Carbonite, is automatic and affordable.
The tips up to this point are useful, but the reality is that every device that is storing your digital photos will be obsolete in 15 years (if not less). And, the files will likely be unreadable by the devices of the future. What won’t be obsolete? A print, an album, a canvas. These are the heirlooms that will be treasured for years to come, much more so than a disk of files sitting in a desk drawer.
If you have years and years of unorganized digital photo files don’t fret. Just decide on an organization system that works for you and make sure you start using it today. When time permits, go back and clean up the messes of the past.
Alison Kowalski Photography