Quick question…

How many pictures did you take with your phone in 2016?

Are those photos backed up?  Are they organized?  Will you be able to find that adorable one from Christmas in 2020?

Photo organization is important.

Experts say we are living in the most photographed era…  ever…  This surprises no one.  I get that.  But, we photograph so much of our lives, but what will we have to show for it in 10 years?  in 20?  When our children want to show their children, will they be able to?

As a child, looking through my grandmother’s photo albums brought me so much joy.  I loved being able to see my family’s history documented in outdated fashion and bad hairstyles.

Admittedly, I get a similar joy when I see the “On this Day” memories post on my Facebook.

I might be the only one who struggles with this.  Maybe the rest of you diligently print off annual books for your kids.  Chances are everyone else has all of their pictures printed, sorted, and filed in nice neat albums.

I do not.

I am a real…  slightly crazy…  often overwhelmed mom of 5.

My effort in photo organization might seem lack luster to many but it might help someone.

Step One in Photo Organization:  Back Up your Digital Photos

Your phone pictures need to be backed up…  it is helpful if it does by an app that does it automatically.  You never really know when that drop is a deadly drop.

Step Two in Photo Organization: Delete the Duds

I often snap a picture of an item at the grocery store to ask my husband a question…  or I snap a picture of some form that I am going to need to reference.  Needless to say, I have many random pictures on my phone that hold no sentimental value to me…  at all.  Delete them.  Sooner rather than later.  Delete them from the back up spot too.  If you wait then you end up with some overwhelming number of pictures to sort through at the end of the year.

Step Three in Photo Organization: Print them

You by no means have to print all of them, but print 100…  200…  Print your favorites.  Print multiple copies of the ones that several of your kids.  Even if you never put them into an album, thumbing through a pile of pictures is far more satisfying than rifling through a box of old hard drives, plugging them in and clicking on folders.

Step Four in Photo Organization: Sort Them

This is where my chaos becomes clear.  You might read, realize that I can be a bit of a slacker, an completely disregard the rest of this post, but other crazy, chaotic moms will understand.  I once held tight to grand aspirations of scrapbooking all of our memories.  Then, life got real.  I would love to at least have nice orderly albums for my children, but I don’t.  What I do have is nice little labeled banker boxes.  I have a box for each child.  Periodically, ideally 2 times a year, I sort through stuff and put it in their boxes.  Their boxes have art projects, report cards and pictures.  Photo Organization


Photo Organization: A Professional Photographers Perspective

Maybe now that I have exposed my personal chaos, my clients might understand why I push for physical portraits.  Digital images are so much fun to post and share on social media, but 20 years from now, will you be able to find them?  My system is far from ideal, but my children will have tangible memorabilia to show their children.  I have had too many clients confess to me that they have never gotten around to printing their images…  or they printed the one that they were giving to Grandma, but they never got around to printing the other ones.

I totally understand…  Promise…  But printed pictures in a shoe box are better than pictures that were never printed at all.

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