Easy Steps to Organize Your Family Photos

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Take a step back before you start taking those photos. Ask yourself, “Are those 300 photos you are about to take going to be sitting on your computer’s desktop with the other countless photos you haven’t touched?” Probably. Have you forgotten to send those photos off of your family vacation or child’s birthday to the rest of the family when you said you would? Did the most recent photo you printed out you needed of yourself was from years ago?

If you answered yes to these—I certainly said YES to all of them—then you and I have a common problem.

We are both suffering from digital photo overload. And oh boy, it probably is a mess for both of us.

Get your photo collection under control with some of these simple steps.

Create a new system

There’s probably a lot of photos you have hidden throughout your digital world. It feels terribly overwhelming, but don’t be alarmed. Start by creating a new system when organizing your photos. Create a system when you have five minutes or more to organize what you can.

When you take new photos, follow these steps below. There are no exceptions. Your new system will only take a few minutes of your time if you do it regularly.

Upload all your pictures

Upload your photos from your camera to your computer whenever you can. Get yourself a wireless memory card if you are one of those people who might avoid transferring your photos manually from your camera to your computer. These memory cards are great because they instantly upload to your home computer or even website for your photos as soon as you are on a Wi-Fi network.

Delete those bad shots

Before editing any shots, remove any shots that you simply would never use. Some of these might be people who have awkward faces, closed eyes, blurry, overexposed, underexposed. Also delete any duplicates you might find. Choose between pictures on what looks better, such as smiles and poses.

It’s easier to sort through photos with the fewer you have and to store them.

Organize them

Create a good filing system with your photos in a hierarchy of folders in a photo program or your desktop. Some programs are iPhoto (Apple) or Google Photos.

Here are some tips on organizing

  • Make a main folder for each calendar year
  • Group photos in subfolders based on events or time of year
  • Make folder names simple, such as “Emma’s 1st Birthday”

If the software, you are using allows you to tag photos do so. Tag photos with keywords to the image that make it easier to search for.

Share your photos with the family and friends

Don’t clog up your e-mail inboxes with photo attachments. Join a picture-sharing website so you can easily send a link to your family and friends.

Save those memories

Make sure to back up your photos. These are precious memories and sometimes technology can fail and lose them, so have back up plan to keep your photos secured. You can store them on an external hard drive, DVD or a storage website.

Convert your prints into digital files online, you can use ScanDigital or ScanCafe.

You can play it safe by doubling up on backing up on two devices so you keep a peace of mind knowing your photos will not be lost.

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