That's the best word to describe how many pictures I've taken since I went digital. If there's one reason to stick to a traditional camera and film, getting your digital pictures organized is it! Okay, now that I've had time to rant I'll get down to business.
I love all the options digital photography allows. I love being able to take dozens or even hundreds of pictures and then choosing the very best.
Here are 5 Tips to help you get your digital photos organized. As always, if you have comments or questions, please feel free to add them in the comments box below this entry or email me directly.
Download when you have time to sort.
Try to download your pictures when you will also have time to sort and label them. This is especially important if you aren't prone to deleting bad images off your camera as you're taking them. If you allow too many sets of pictures to get stacked up on your computer without being sorted, you'll get Overwhelmed, and for must of us that makes it hard to get things done.
How many layouts will you do of this one Theme, Event, Person?
Before you start sorting your pictures, decide how many layouts and in what size you will do of this particular Theme, Person, Event, etc. Then choose the best images and the right quantity of images you'll need to complete those layouts.
Delete, Delete, Delete
Once you've chosen the images you'll use in the layouts, DELETE the rest of the images from that event. Storing those images will take up space on your computer, but more importantly you'll end up spending an equal amount of time looking through them later to re-choose the images for the layout. If you can't Delete them (some of us Mamas are too attached to delete), Move all of them into a "Miscellaneous Photos" folder on your desktop. That way if you ever wanted to go back and find them you could but they won't be a distraction later.
One of the best things about digital photo storage is that you can tag the photos so that they will come up under a variety of searches. In order to really make this work you need to tag your images consistently and keep a list of the tags you use.
I use a birthday type calendar to do this. Next to each person's name on the calendar I have their personal code, i.e. my son's name is London Thomas, highlighted next to his name is the code LT. All pictures that include him have an LT tag.
At the back of the calendar I have a list of other common tags, ie, Bday = Birthday, SCH = School, etc. that way if I want to find all of London's School pictures, I can just search for LT + SCH and I will get all of his school photos at one time.
For Holidays, I note the code on the month/holiday, i.e., XC = Christmas. Again when you search for images you can just use the codes. It's a little bit of work up front, but has big payoffs later.
Click here to see a cool "scrappy" Birthday Calendar Base that you can decorate yourself. These make GREAT gifts for friends and family, a perfect Christmas gift for Grandma and Grandpa.
Attach Additional Information
Include a word document in the file with the images for journaling notes, location of corresponding memorabilia (if there is any), or any other miscellaneous information (special supplies you've purchased, etc) you might need when you go to print and then scrap these pictures.
If you've found a good layout design somewhere on the Internet copy and paste that image and any other information you might have about it into this file as well. Again, it will pop up when you need it and where you need it.
Want to learn a few tips and tricks for preparing your printed images, etc. for cropping? Click here to see The Ready, Set, Crop kit and watch a short video.