January is a month of new years resolutions, out with the old, in with the new. It’s a great time to organize your photos.
Regardless of which holidays you celebrate, there will likely be lots of photos taken!. We all seem to have dozens (or hundreds) of family photos. But sadly, photographs like other mementos, can be overwhelming. The holidays are a great time to get your photos organized for the next year, while everyone is home and gathered together, you can make it a family project, reliving the memories while you sort and file.
- Clean. Get rid of blurry, out of focus photos. Pick the best and get rid of the rest! There’s no need to keep several copies of the exact same subject matter. Delete or throw away the rest.
- Document. If you are working with photo prints, write the month and year on the back of each photo and the names of everyone in the picture. Even though you think you will remember, it’s a great fall back.
- Organize. Categorize your photos. This is an important one. If organized consistently, you will always be able to find that picture you are looking for. My pictures are kept on my hard drive. I organize them by year. 2012 is in a folder and then I have sub folders for each month or event from that year. When I download my pictures from my camera to my hard drive I rename them using the following system: [date]_[description]_[number].jpg. For example, 20121225_christmasday_2.jpg. This way my file name gives me hints as to what the picture might be. If I am looking for a fireworks picture from the 4th of July, I can quickly find those files that begin with 20120704 and find what I am looking for.
- Storage. Have a specific place to keep your photos. If you are storing prints, invest in an archival-quality photo box, one that is acid-free and lignin-free. These are sold at scrapbooking stores, craft and hobby shops, or online at exposures.com. Store all photos in a cool, dry place, not the basement, attic or garage. If you are storing digital files, BACK THEM UP!! And back them up regularly. I can’t say it enough. People lose pictures all the time. Back up your files to an external hard drive, a flash drive or a CD and store it in a separate location.
- Display. Please don’t just leave those memories in boxes or on an external hard drive. Get them out and up on your walls to make your smile EVERY day! Or make a book like we did last year. I hope to make one every year. My kids love to flip through and reminisce. www.mpix.com has some lovely options for photo books as well as framing options for wall displays.