Hi, I’m Kaitlin, and I’m a recovering photo hoarder.
If we’re all being honest with ourselves, then you’re probably nodding your head thinking, “I totally get it, I’m one too.” We’re all guilty of getting a little snap-happy at times when it comes to capturing moments. But before we know it, the photos pile up and again, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we have to understand that they’re not all keepers.
I’m a firm believer in documenting the beautiful life you live, but what happens when we get snap happy and never deal with the overflowing photo roll? We get overwhelmed. And feeling overwhelmed over photos that should bring you joy – well that’s just yuck.
So today I’d like for us to have a little heart to heart, one photo hoarder to another. I have a three-step program that we can go through together to reach our photo organization goals. Here’s 3 tips on how to organize photos.
STEP ONE: FAVORITES ONLY
This is by far one of the hardest things for myself to overcome, especially when taking a photo of something/someone I love. But it’s time to face the music, if I’m taking photos of my dog in the backyard I don’t need to keep all 10 slightly different photos of her. While multiple shots help me get “the one”, if I don’t cull through them, I’m left with a handful of mediocre photos I will never share or print.
To overcome this, organize your photos and pick your favorites within 24-48 hours after taking them. Choosing your favorites means you are only spending time editing photos you absolutely love (my favorite editing apps here). Delete any photos that are: blurry, accidental bursts, have closed eyes, weird poses, poorly lit, etc.
You can easily keep track of your favorites my hitting the heart button on your iPhone. This will automatically organize photos and place them in the Favorites Album.
If you are taking photos with a DSLR camera, upload your photos to your computer and only save the chosen few to a favorites folder.
Once you have your favorite photos selected take some time to edit them and organize photos further by moving on to the next step. Tip: only keep photos that need to be edited in your favorites album, delete (by unselecting the heart) once they have been moved to the correct album.
STEP TWO: CREATE ALBUMS
There are a couple of different ways you can go about this, so my best advice for you is to create a system that will be easy for you to maintain consistently. It’s highly important that you edit and move your selected favorites to their respective albums as you take them, this will make them easier to find in the future.
Create Albums with clear names such as naming them with the Month & Year or with Year & Category (such as: ‘days at home’ or ‘beach’). Make sure that each photo has its own place by implementing an organization method when naming a photo and/or folder. When creating albums on your iPhone I recommend using a date & event method or create general albums.
- BY DATE: Year – Month – Event/Description
- example – 2017_January 15_Killians 2nd Birthday
- BY EVENT: General events such as beach or park visits, days at home, etc.
- example – 2017_May 23_Beach
- IN GENERAL: If your photos don’t fall in to a specific category use a date method and keep a separate folder for each month of the year.
- example – 2017: August_13
- example – 2017: September
- PHOTO GIFTS: easily create photo gifts by saving your photos in to the appropriate recipients folder.
- example – 2017: Grandparents
- example – 2017: Friends
Go even further by saving your top favorites from each month in to a Yearly Favorites folder. This way you can quickly make a year in review album of your most cherished memories at the end of each year.
STEP THREE: KEEP PHOTOS SECURE
Long gone are the days of film and only having one copy of photos. With all the technology and apps available, there is no excuse not to back up your photos on a regular basis.
- iCloud: your photos will be safe in your cloud account even if they get deleted from your phone.
- Google Photo: compile your photos and create albums from your phone or computer.
- External hard drive: use “air drop” to send photos instantly from your phone to your computer – save to an external hard drive.
And my favorite, Amazon Prime Photos, a perk of being an Amazon Prime member. Here’s why I heart it:
- Free UNLIMITED photo storage.
- Ability to search for specific photos.
- Create albums and upload directly from your phone or computer.
- Share with up to 5 people and collect everyone’s photos in the Family Vault.
- Doesn’t lower resolution or quality.
- You can view and download your stored photos from any computer.
- Option to auto save your phone photo reel.
Okay, so three easy steps to organize photos – that’s simple to follow right? If you’re already behind (I’m right there with you) tackle your photo reel slowly. Catch up by downloading photos off your camera, culling through your phone photos, picking your favorites, and saving them to their proper folder. Once you catch up you can archive as you go. The whole process of culling, editing, and saving is a lot easier if you do it as you take photos, it’s actually fun and somewhat gratifying to delete those bad photos. And the best part is you’ll have a highlight reel of your most cherished moments.
Never loose a photo to the digital abyss again!
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