Melissa Crossman shares tips on how to organize your photographs.
In the years of film photography, taking pictures was somewhat of an expensive undertaking, and in some ways this limited the number of pictures people took. Today’s digital photography technology means you can snap a picture any time of anything, even with your phone. Yet, for the organizationally challenged, this creates an interesting obstacle, because the average family has literally thousands of photographs to sort. Whether the photos are in a box or on the hard drive, taking some time to organize your photographs will greatly simplify your life.
Digitize Paper Photographs
Each holiday season, you open your Christmas cards and you’re greeted with the image of friends and family from all over. That’s great, but what do you do with those photographs later? What about the heirloom photos or even slides you have in your home? Chances are the images are stashed away in a box, seeing little more than accumulated dust. One of the first steps in simplifying clutter by organizing photographs is to digitize your paper photographs and old slides.
You can easily digitize these photographs and store them on your computer. Even if you need to keep the paper versions for photo albums, digitizing them will ensure that they are preserved, and it may free you to get rid of some that you no longer need in paper versions.
Be Willing to Say Goodbye
Do you have ten shots of basically the same thing? Did you take 100 pictures at your daughter’s kindergarten graduation? You probably don’t need all of these. Go through them and choose the best ones, and delete or toss the others. It really is OK to get rid of duplicate pictures.
Create Photo Books
Photo books are a great way to consolidate digital pictures and give people a tangible way to enjoy them. Consider creating a photo book to highlight the best photographs and memories from the year. Photo books are simple to create, and most companies who offer them have pre-designed templates so all you have to do is add your photos and captions.
Start with the Most Recent
As you begin organizing, categorizing and trimming your photo collection, start with the most recent. Your memories of these events will be current and fresh, so you can add captions to the images to help you remember later. Waiting to do the 1998s photos for another few months or years is not going to change your memories much, but waiting to do last month’s photographs will hurt your memories of those more recent events.
Focus on Permanent Storage
Digital photography has one potential downside. Your computer is not going to last forever. Few events would be quite as devastating as losing all of your photographs in one unfortunate computer crash. As you organize your photographs, consider a permanent storage solution. Use an external hard drive or even burn a few DVDs to give yourself a backup copy.
If you are not careful, your photographs can easily become an overwhelming mess. To protect yourself from this, take time now to start organizing them. If you already feel overwhelmed, simply grab a box or open a file and start. When your pictures are organized and accessible, you will be glad you took the time to tackle this project.
About The Author
Melissa Crossman is a freelance writer in the Indianapolis area. She loves playing with her dogs and can’t wait for the Indiana State Fair in August.
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