Finally, I can say good-bye to this year. Of course, I will be up until midnight running reports for the business, but that's OK. Tomorrow we start a new year - a fresh start!
I am reprinting a wonderful article about organizing digital photos here. This article originally appeared in another store's newsletter and the author has graciously allowed me to share it with you. The author is Lisa Acosta, co-owner of Scrapbooks & Stuff in Miami, Florida. If you ever visit Miami, I highly recommend you stop in and visit.
Managing the Digital Photo Monster Lisa Acosta, Scrapbooks & Stuff (Miami, FL)
Do you have a ton of photos lost on any number of media cards and computer folders? If so, help is here!
1. The very first thing you need to do is get the photos downloaded in the first place, that way you can save and scrap the ones you love. Get them off your camera, free up those memory sticks and cards! Learning how to use your camera's software is very important and it should be pretty user friendly once you get the hang of it.
2. Once you have downloaded them, you need to organize them into folders and sub-folders. One of the wonders of digital photos, is that the camera should be stamping a date on them automatically. It may not be visible on the photo itself, but if you click on a photo's "properties" it should tell you the date it was taken. Use that date to sort the photos by year into yearly folders. I have folders for 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Once they are in the yearly folders, you will then want to create sub-folders within each year for the events you shot photos of. A quick name for each sub-folder like "Parrot Jungle Jan 2005", "Mothers Day Tea May 2005", "Caitlin’s 6 BDay July 2005" are some of the sub-folders I created. I like to use the month and year in each sub-folder's name for ease of browsing. Each yearly folder I have has probably 25 - 35 sub-folders, it really depends on how many photos I took. You may also need to create a Miscellaneous sub-folder for those really random or single shots, you know the ones of the dog, or the single shots you took for who knows what reason.
There may be photos that you might not necessarily want to keep with your family photos, perhaps work related, or photos you shot for a friend that you want to forward to, etc. These may need their own folders separate from the yearly folders. I have additional folders for Scrapbooks & Stuff and for my husband's work. Needless to say, when all of this hard work is done, you will want to create backup disks for each year of photos. You may actually be able to back up all of the years onto a single disk depending on how many photos you have. Should your computer crash, or should you be forced to evacuate, the disks will be your lifesaver. Remember, photos are one of the things you can never replace once lost.
3. Once they are downloaded and organized, it is time to print. As a scrapbooker, you need hard copies! The photos will quite easily become ancient history if you never print them out. It does not mean that you have to print every single one out, but at least your favorites, the ones you want to be able to touch, feel, and scrap. One of the best things I found recently was Walgreens.com. If you go to their website you can actually download the photos from your computer files or a disk, order prints, and then pick them up at your closest Walgreens in about an hour. 4 x6 prints are just .19 each, you don't have to wait days to get them by mail, and you don't even have to pay until you pick them up! So easy, even with an ancient home computer like mine - although I would recommend it only with DSL access. No, Walgreens is not paying us to endorse them, it's just one of those good things you have to share!
4. Now you need to organize the hard copies! Place the photos in either photo albums or photo boxes. I prefer photo albums because I only scrap about 25% of the photos I take, but hey, I still want the other 75%! Keeping them in photo albums will keep fingerprints at bay, keep the photos in order, and family will still be able to look at photos no matter how long it takes you to actually scrap them.