• You don’t know where all your photos are and thinking about it hurts your head 
 
• Or, their location is known but thinking about it hurts your head, and makes you feel completely overwhelmed
 
• Photo organizing is marked as a ‘to-do’ for someday…but it hasn’t been done yet. And as we all know, someday is the day after never 
 
• All the technology and choices around photo organizing confuse you
 
• No one told you that professional photo organizers like me exist – and can help!
 
I’ve recently read several interesting articles on photo organizing. Many of the folks interviewed say the same thing as my clients. For example:
  • They feel overwhelmed by the state of their current digital collection. This holds true for any inherited photos as well.
 
  • Another scenario: they’re motivated to start. But they got sidetracked or lost in the weeds.
 
  • They are tech-savvy but can’t find the time (and believe me, it always takes longer than you think). 
 
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, help is here. You can spare yourself the frustration by taking a few simple steps to address these issues. Remember, not doing it will cost you in the long run, as images accumulate in your camera roll.  
 
A few tips to help you get started:
 
Manage, Organize and Preserve your Prints
 
If you have loose printed photos, use the ABC’s to organize. A = A list photos, your keepers. Put these in one pile.  B = B-roll, these are your alternatives. C = Can, as in trash can. Yes you can throw out photos!  The ones I recommend discarding are any blurry, redundant, or unrecognizable images. If there are people in them you don’t know, ask a family member or relative. They may want them and will be happy to know you have them. 
 
  • Scan the A + B photos and back them up. Get an archival, acid-free storage system for your remaining  printed photos. You can store them in sections – by date, event, or subject. I recommend Archival Methods for a wide array of museum-quality storage options. 
 
Manage, Organize and Preserve your Digital Images  
 
  • The digital photo collection requires some hunting and gathering from all your devices. Don’t forget your recently digitized print images
  • Use the same ABC process for digital photos. But I find it’s best to choose a consistent naming convention. I go with YY-MM-DD wherever possible. You can then add names, events, and places to the files using metadata keywords as well as tags. 
  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention video. Do you have old home movies? You can have them digitized and sorted, as well. iMovie is a great place to start (and it comes on all Macs). You can add them to current videos and edit to music. Or simply add them to your collection to share with family (pop some corn for family movie night!).
 
Storage Options
 
Both professional photographers and photo organizers use the 3-2-1 backup method. This requires maintaining three (3) copies of your collection at all times. Two (2) copies on external hard drives (stored in different locations) and one (1) copy in the cloud. You will need to update your collection at regular intervals. But that’s ok because you are now motivated and organized to do so! And if not, we at Past Present Pix are here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact us for your free 15 minute call.