I know, your thinking…”But WAIT, I’m not done with my printed photos yet”! Its okay, I’m not either! But there maybe those that are,(I know, I'm jealous too) or those that want to work on both at the same time. You can come back and read when your ready! But we need to set a goal for “x” amount of time a day to set aside for just organizing our photos. Even if its just 5 min a day, in a week you’ll have a bunch organized, lil things add up to BIG things! Remember you set achievable goals for “you”. This is just a guideline to help!
First thing first, extremely Important! If you haven’t already done so, BACK UP ALL THOSE DIGITAL PHOTOS! Whether, it be on CDs, flash sticks, eternal hard drives, etc. I am speaking from experience. I lost many due to a computer hardware malfunction. It still makes me cringe and cry. And, I still forget to back up photos every now and then.
So for, Digital photos, which are a lil more complex. Because we don’t have to worry about printing the pictures to see if we got a good shot, I don’t know about you but I probably take 5 shots for every picture. Again, set achievable goals, baby steps. Usually when you transfer your pictures from your camera to the computer, the cameras software automatically labels your folders. Now, depending on your software depends on labels/file names you get. A system that works for you needs to be set up so that all of file folders lets you easily identify the group of photos, browse and find photos.
I have several cameras over the past few years, so I have several different file names. However, I’ve always changed them to the year, month, day. It helps me identify easily. most inside the file under each picture, has a file name too, usually in a sequential numbered order. Now, I haven’t done this with all my photos but with some I have changed the file name to a short description. For example: 2005-04-28 Chelsea10 bday; Gift from Aunt…,
You could also do it this way; that start with a folder for each year. Within each year folder, create 12 month folders (one for each month). Within the month folders, are subject folders (birthdays, holidays, even just dates).
Its finding what works for “YOU”! AND REMEMBER TO KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Once, you have all these organized in whichever “system” works for you, now the real work begins! Remember when we “purged” out those nasty, dark, blurry, what the heck is that a picture of, those really bad self portraits (unless you really want to scrap them?) photos. We need to do this again.
Now, if you’re like me, you’ll have a ton of duplicates! We need to “purge” those now. What I recommend is viewing them full screen and looking at the duplicates, look for closed eyes, not the expression you want, lighting, blurriness, etc. Pick your favorite(s); saving no more than 3 of the same. But you need to keep in mind “how” am I going to scrapbook these? You may only need 1 photo.
If you don’t want to permanently delete these photos, I understand, its hard at first. What I do is I have a folder labeled “To save or Not”. I move my photos in there and view them a day or so later, sometimes I view them a couple times. Once, I know “okay, I don’t need these”, I delete them. On an occasion, I do move 1 or 2 back to the original file, but very rarely.