Download Your Photos
Do you take a lot of digital photos? Probably with your phone right? Do you download them to your computer? I hope you do. Do you wish you knew how to organize your digital photos where you wouldn’t have to keep looking for them when you need them?
The first thing you should do is download your photos, especially when you take a lot of photos of the family. If you take photos with your phone camera, make sure they go into the cloud or download those as well onto your computer.
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The worst scenario that could possibly happen is taking so many memorable photos and something happens to your phone or camera card. And all of the photos are lost forever.
This actually happened to my brother when his second child was born. I bet he wishes he listened to me when I told him how to organize his digital photos. He took a few photos with his phone. He sent me a couple of photos from the hospital when his son was born.
A few days later he called me up and told me his phone froze and could not download any of his photos. I tried to advise him on different things he could try but to no avail. All his photos of his son’s first hours were lost.
I sent him the photos he sent me. I still had them on my phone. That made me immediately download my phone’s photos to my laptop. I was absolutely saddened at my brother’s lost photos. Make sure this does not happen to you.
Create A Simple System for Digital photos
It drives me crazy when I would search and search for a particular photo on my laptop. I knew I downloaded it but I just couldn’t find it. If I had filed it in the right place, I wouldn’t have that problem of spending hours looking for it. It doesn’t take long to organize your digital photos when you have a plan.
Nothing is better than having a system in place specifically for your personal digital photos. It saves you so much time in looking for it later.
My kids would often ask me, “Mom do you remember that photo we took with so and so? What year was that?” My daughter just asked me a similar question and I went right to my file and answered what year it was that the photo was taken.
I love having things organized and knowing where things are. Things were not always that organized on my laptop. When I started my photography business, I soon learned that I had to keep all my clients’ photos organized.
So, from my business aspect of keeping my client’s files organized, I did the same with my personal photos.
It’s a joy to see your children grow into such beautiful young adults. But on the other hand, they grow up so darn fast, right? You wonder where has the time gone. I look at my kids’ photos when they were young . . . little toddlers . . . and I wonder where has that little boy gone.
The young man that stands before me has grown so tall and handsome. It’s hard to imagine that that is the little boy that I used to lull to bed when he was scared to sleep alone. ☹
Then there is my beautiful daughter, who I remember rocking to sleep when she was a wee little baby. And now she has grown into such a beautiful young lady. Where did the time go? I know. It was all captured on film. Well . . . some of it on digital “film” 😊
Because of my love and passion for photography, I captured every special religious occasion, every birthday, every trip, every school concert, every soccer game (well maybe not every one of them 😉) on video, cell phone or DSLR.
In the beginning, there were no digital cameras when we started our new family. I had my film camera that produced a lot of hardcopy photographs. And boy do I have a lot. Lol !!
Now to stay with the sign of the times, I had to get myself a digital camera. Yet another camera. But what an awesome and soon life-changing purchase. It was a whole new world for me.
The Beauty of Print Products
Now, as we are enthralled in the digital world, we no longer need to take in our film to get developed. Most of us just take photos with our phones and leave it and forget it. I was guilty of that many times.
In the past, I developed all my film and stored all my photos in a mostly organized manner. I bought those pretty designed boxes made with dividers. I made labels for the boxes as well as the dividers.
It was overwhelming for a while. You can still use these photos by creating scrapbooks. I started creating scrapbooks for each of my children and for my husband and I. It’s a perfect and really pretty way to use up all those photos you have lying around in envelopes.
Some of the photos I still print out that I take with my DSLR. Enlarging many of my photos is a wonderful treat for me. It also creates beautiful artwork for our home. I get some of my photos framed and I also get them made into a gallery canvas.
They are beautiful pieces of art that I will treasure forever.
Organizing Your Hardcopy photos
If you haven’t figured by now, I love to keep things very organized. I always thought that it was a waste of time to be so organized. But I can’t help myself. I love creating my lists, spreadsheets and keeping everything in a certain order.
That’s what I want to share with you now. The way I like to organize my digital photos. Just a quick mention of what to do with your older photos (the hardcopy kind). Like everyone else I’m sure, I organized my photos in albums according to the years of occurrence.
I also labeled each album with the “From and To” months and years. I was actually looking for some old photos that I needed to see and I would have never found them if I did not keep my photos organized like that.
Also, when my children were growing up, there were times that they needed photos for school projects. Older photos could be used to create beautiful scrapbooks projects. I have a scrapbook for each of my children.
Consolidate Your Photo Streams
You have your photo funnels in place now but you have to keep on it. Over time you might have photo streams coming from different devices. I started out with my DSLR then I added my video camera that also takes photos and then I purchased a GoPro. Don’t forget your cell phone.
These are a lot of devices where you are funneling your photos. Make sure you have a strong computer to download your photos. But it is very important to also download them to an external hard drive. I also got myself a good external hard drive with a capacity of 2TB.
So, once you have your photos downloaded, you will want to organize your digital photos in a simple way that will work for you. You will want to organize your digital photos in a way so that when you are looking for certain photos you will not have to go through all of them to find one certain photo.
Being a photographer with many clients, I created a system for myself that would be most beneficial for my business and make it organized so I can find photos easily and fast.
Create File Folders
When I created a system for my photography clients, I wanted to keep my personal photos separate and organized as well. I have a lot of family photos. The photo down below helps explain how I created my system for my personal photographs. It might help you.
When I download personal photos I create a file folder named “PERSONAL”. From there I create 2 more file folders for each of my children, myself and my husband. Then from there I would create file folders for each year and I would put all photos in their proper file folders under the appropriate years.
Then I would go further and make file folders for certain events within each year. For example, I would create a folder for birthday photos for each child, and for my husband, I created a file folder named “Fishing” because I took photos of him in action. (He loved those – lol)
You don’t actually have to create folders like mine. Think of how it will work best for your set of circumstances. Hopefully, I was able to steer you in the right direction to make your life that much easier with all the photos you have on all of your devices.