May 21, 2012

How do I organize? - so. many. pictures.

I'm buried...or at least I was.

Not just under toys, crumbs, laundry and dinosaurs, but pictures of adorable faces with toys, crumbs, and dino's!

One child wasn't so bad, but when number two came along, something had to be done!!!

How do I organize? - so. many. pictures.

Here is how I do it:

1. Upload pictures onto computer. I own a mac, so my pictures go straight into iphoto. I delete them off my camera right away, so I don't have to manually do this later on. Blank slate. Feels good. Don't worry, see my sidenote below those of you who think you are going to lose them if you delete them off of your camera. If you do not own a mac, I'm I'm just kidding! If you don't own one, make sure your photos are being uploaded to the exact software you store them in to.

Sidenote: You need to back up your pictures. I use shutterfly, but google it for more options. I use shutterfly because it is free, fast, easy, and they have these amazing private share sites that act just like a blog, but without the large amount of writing. Love them. BACK UP TO YOUR FAVORITE BACK UP SITE WHILE YOU ARE DOING THE FOLLOWING STEPS BELOW. I also use an additional hard-drive to back up onto. Which you need to look into if you have not before.

2. Look through that 'event' (as iphoto calls it) or through the pictures you just uploaded and delete ANY and EVERY photo that is not needed. How do I know what to delete? Ask yourself these questions:
          1. Is it out of focus? Yes? delete.
          2. Is it awkward? (unless you like awkward of course) Yes? trash. or send it to awkward family  
              photos. then trash it.
          3. Is it the best picture out of the 20 you took in the same pose?  No? see ya.
          4. Is it frame worthy? No? don't let anyone else see it again.
          5. Will you choose it to be put into a picture book or photo album? No? get rid of it.
Be decisive when it comes to this right away. It will help in the long run.

3. Flag your favorites, or make a favorite file. This way, when you have Grandma that wants a pose, a relative that has a birthday today or need to put together a first birthday party with a bunch of pictures, you know right where to go. Pronto.

4. Make a name for the file. I just started doing this and it changed my life. I found that if I take the time to make a name for the file, then I should keep it on my computer. Even after my first round of deleting, I still send some to the trash on this step. I don't really 'need' 20 pictures of my son brushing his teeth, or 10 of my 3 month old staring at the camera in the same outfit, on the same day.
          Tip #1: Be specific. This way, when you look at just the file names on your computer, you know exactly what it is. Example: "Melaney sitting up in her jean jacket..." or "M sitting up in her jacket..."
          Tip #2: Label it with the date. At the end of the name of the file I put: "Melaney sitting up in her jean jacket - May 2012" This makes it even easier to know exactly when that photo was taken. We have the who, the what, and the when. Add the where too, like at the zoo, if it is not at home. I would recommend not putting the exact date, at least for me this seems overwhelming.

5. Move it into your file for the month. For example, all of the pictures that have been looked through, flagged and named, should go into its correct month 'event' or 'file'. Use the name of the month for these. Example: 'May 2012'. Did you notice what I underlined? Don't put your pictures into this file until you have gone through them. This way you know what has been gone through by just looking at it. Maybe you even wait until you choose one for your photobook...up to you. Either way, decide how you are going to do it and stick to it.

I keep all of my photos into files according to months, until we hit the end of the year.

6. End of the year: I choose a week (or month, or day, whatever works) and go through each month of the previous year and DELETE WHAT YOU DON'T NEED. Reminisce and keep those special moments in time forever. When you sit down to do this, do a month at a time. Which means, do not stop until you are done with that month. When you are, move it on in to that label for the year. Example '2011' or 'Pictures of 2011' or 'Year 2011' get it...This does take awhile, but again, if you decide that you are going to do a month at a time, you can visually see when needs gone through.

Sidenote: Sometimes there are occasions that need their own file or event. Which is fine! Be flexible. A wedding or a special birthday party, or that day at the beach that you treasure so much, are all great examples of this. For me, I have an event just for my etsy shop, Polka Dot Pocket. Do what works for you.

7. Photo book it, print them, frame them...whatever! I do a photo book that goes from July to August every year. Why? 1. I have sunny outside pictures in the beginning and end of the book. 2. December and January are very busy months, so I choose to do this in the months I am not so busy. Do what works for you.

This sounds great, but it is overwhelming to think about. How do I start????????? Where do I start????


Really, it's easy.

2 options.

1. Start with your next uploading from your computer.
2. Start with the month that you are in right now.


It seems like a lot. Some of you are thinking: so. many. words.

I'm thinking: so. worth. it.

Do you have a different system? Let me know!

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