As a blogger, Instagram, and Snapchat account holder I have a ton of pictures. I do my best to keep them organized in a fashion that allows me to easily navigate them. I know so many people, just in my close friends and family, that have the most random pictures on their phone. Even worst is when we are going through the pictures and they cannot even remember why they wanted that photo in the first place. We will also tend to run across photos that are just to blurry to make out.
Photo organization is not for the light hearted. There is no easy way to organize your photos. In other words, it is going to require a few steps on your part to get them organized and keep them that way. I have listed out 5 steps for how I approach clients about decluttering their photos and getting them organized. Following these steps should help guide you to have a more organized and enjoyable photo collection.
Can you Guess what step one is going to be? If you have been following along with Imitation Life you should be well versed on most of my step ones.
For those who are new the first step as with almost anything is to declutter your photos. I know this is a stressful and emotional step, but it is one of the most important steps out there.
So, how does one declutter their photos without regret of getting rid of the image? It is not easy but listed below are a few pointers for helping remove some images.
- Same day photos
Q: Ask yourself if you really need five photos of your child looking away from the camera at the planes in the sky?
H: If you have ever been to a photographer that allows you to pick the photos you want then you have probably already experienced this “how to tip”. Take the five photos of your child and put three together pick one to remove/delete. Repeat the process until you are down to two photos. If you are feeling extra “space saver” than go ahead and get down to one photo. Otherwise, keep your favorite two. I suggest if this is your first time that you keep two photos. It will help to ease your stress during the decluttering.
- Same style photos
Q: Ask yourself how many Snapchat selfies of me with the dog face on do I actually need? Or If you are like my family and take you dog out to the beach a lot… how many pictures of your dog standing in the water do you actually need?
H: The how, here is a little different for both the scenarios I gave above. Keep in mind that Snapchat is not meant for you to keep the images, but rather share and never see again. With this in mind, ask yourself if you have shared the image? If the answer is yes then delete the image.
For the same style photos of your dog (or whatever it may be) go through them and pull out any special occasion photos. Special occasions may be holidays, birthdays, or family in town. So, if one was taken on the 4th of July then separate out that photo from the rest. Now with the rest do the same process of elimination as the Same Day Photos.
- Oops or bad Photos
You would be surprised at how many people just never go back and delete or throw away bad or mistake photos. I find that a lot of mothers want to keep their little one’s photography that they took, but the reality is that most of the time it is blurry and unrecognizable. On the other hand, taking several group selfie photos is must, but normally you only use one and only one turns out. Best tip here is to just delete/throw away the photos that do not turn out and chances are you will never use them.
Now days you may take on average about five to ten selfies before finding the one you like. Before you start editing or uploading that one selfie out of ten that you just took delete the rest. By going ahead and deleting them it will make it so much easier on you to find the one you wanted to use anyways.
I do suggest taking all of the photos at the same time and then deciding which one to keep. I have deleted a selfie before, because I thought I didn’t like it and it ended up being the best one for that selfie time.
Y’all it is important to remember that memories live inside you and not in the material items we surround ourselves with. This includes our images we keep to help remind us of said memories. A few photos from that time will help remind you just as well as fifteen photos will.
- Use a layout or collage app
Still having trouble bringing yourself to delete multiple photos form the same event or what have you? Download a layout/ collage maker. You can save multiple photos in one photo with these handy little apps. Plus, most apps have fun layouts that add to your picture.
Limit where you keep and store your photo’s. I am not counting social media pages as photo storage since your photos could disappear if something happened to that company. Places I generally find clients store their photos are on their desktop/ drive, on places like Drop Box or One Drive, on their phone, on thumb drives, or in boxes if printed.
Most people have photos stored in at least three of the above-mentioned places. So, for step number three find one area to store all photos for now. This should be a lot easier if you have followed step number one.
*** Extra Tip: Scan all printed photos that you are not displaying and throw the prints away. There is no sense in keeping boxes full of photos that just sit in an attic.***
Find a method that works for you. There are so many ways to keep and sort photo’s now that we can be a little spoiled and go overboard on our photo collection. I personal prefer a few photo books made through Smilebooks. I love the quality and speed I receive form Smilebooks.
I have heard that Blurb is another good photo book company with great prices. I checked their reviews out and they have a 9.2 out of 10 on one site.
All of my photos even the ones featured in the Smilebooks are stored in my One Drive account. This way I do not have to keep track of jump drives or CDs. Plus, I can access One Drive from anywhere. I like that One Drive has an app that you can use on your phone. This way you are never without your photos if you want to show off your kid or dog. One Drive is a sort of backup system that is easy to view and navigate.
My own method is to have a book from each year featuring some of my families’ favorite memories. I also have a book from each year for my son’s yearly pictures. The rest of my photos I keep in folders on my One Drive. I separate my folders into years and months. The months are not broken down unless there was a special event or holiday that took place.
Keep on top of it. This is where photo organization is not for the light hearted, because it takes a lot of work. Well not a lot, but at least a monthly once over to ensure everything is in its place and organized.
What I do is once a month I add all my phones photos to my One Drive and organize them in their folders. This makes picking the photo’s that will go in the family photo books a lot easier and makes sure I have a wide variety of photos.
Just like cleaning if you stay on top of it you will find it a lot easier to manage. Add the monthly photo organization to your monthly and yearly cleaning checklist.
Does this all seem a bit much to you? If it does, but you still want your photos organized consider outsourcing the work. As a home and life organizer I have an agreement for full confidentiality as part of the contract when we start working together. Head over to the virtual services area to learn more about my photo organization service.