It was 6:30 a.m. And I’m chatting with an old college buddy, we’re talking on Zoom about photo organization. What was going on? And why did she look so put together while I was bleary-eyed sipping my coffee with hair stuck to the side of my face?
But more importantly why was I talking about photo organization at 6:30 in the morning.?
If you know anything about me, then you know photo organization is my passion! I know some people might have a passion like giving extra shoes to kids in Africa or working with an orphanage in Nicaragua. Although I love those things too they aren’t my purpose in life.
My purpose in life is to help women, just like you, learn to live in the present. Part of learning to live in the present is learning to enjoy moments from the past. I know that sounds strange so let me explain a little bit more!
Sometimes being here for right now means you know where you’ve come from and you have a clear view of what you want your future to look like. Knowing those two things allow you to rest in where you are now.
When you have the ability to reflect back on your past you have the ability to be more secure in where you are now. How can you reflect back on your past when all of your little memories are jumbled up in a heap on a 2 inch by 4 inch screen?
Are you like my old college friend? She had reached a breaking point. With two small kids at home, working full-time, and all the other things that come with motherhood she had been pushed to the point where there’s no more messing around.
Maybe you’ve reached the point where you’re just fed up with it, you’re done. You just need the fastest and easiest way to accomplish the task. So here you are. Let’s solve it. Are you embarrassed or overwhelmed at the shocking amount of photos that are living on your phone. Are you frustrated with yourself because you still haven’t made your four-year-olds baby album? Just because they are the middle child doesn’t mean their childhood needs to go forgotten! Spoken from a true middle child over here!
So you clicked over to this blog or you read the title and you got a little fire in you. You’re ready to finally do it. So let’s do it. Let’s get all of those photos on your phone organized and in the right spot. because that’s one thing you really want to get checked off this year. You’re tired of writing it and thinking it again and again and again 2020, 2021 and now 2022! Enough already.
Let me walk you through some of my best tips and tricks for photo organization. If you didn’t know I was a photographer for over 10 years. Primarily weddings which means I had thousands and thousands of pictures to keep organized and to keep safe for my clients. I had developed a pristine system for this in my professional life. But my phone probably looked something like yours
72,485 photos of my adorable children and our vacation from 2006, all living on my phone. They were a mess. Why couldn’t I implement the same system for my professional photos into my personal life?
Well I could, and I did, and I figured out all the best ways to do it and then I started teaching it to others! That’s what I was doing with my college friend at 6:30 am.
She’s a student of mine and I was walking her through some new ideas and systems for getting her photos organized!
PHOTO STORAGE AND ORGANIZATION
I’m sure you have underlying motivation for getting your photos organized. You have that dread in the back of your mind that if something were to happen to your phone, all your memories would be lost. You’re pretty sure that pics are getting backed up on iPhoto or Google or the cloud somewhere… But you’re not exactly sure if it’s all of the photos, and you’re not sure you’d be able to find what you’re looking for if you tried.
So what are some photo storage and organization tips that can give you a little peace of mind? That could help you sleep better at night?
First, it’s a great idea to have a big backup hard drive for everything. Keep in mind hard drives are not meant to last forever. And at some point or another they are going to fail you. That goes for your old hard drives from your college years as well as your thumb drives from back in the day when thumb drives were a thing as well as the CD full of your engagement photos and the USB with your oldest first birthday stored on it
These storage devices were not meant to last. So, you need to get them all together and get them all loaded onto one great big storage device. Preferably one with a whole lot of memory!
A whole lot of memory would be something that’s 4TB or bigger! I have no idea if you’re as crazy of a picture taker as I am but 4TB should do the trick!
Recommended: My favorite hard drive!
That’s photo storage for your digital photos. But what about photo storage for your already printed photos or for the photos that you were going to print in the future?
I recommend organizing your printed photos by stage of life, not by year. Chances are you’re going to be going way back when you organize these printed photos. You are going to be fatiguing your brain and taking up way too much time to try and remember the specific year. But, I bet you’ll have way less of an issue remembering if this picture was from before kids or after kids! I feel like before kids I had way more cohesive memories.
Shop my favorite storage boxes here!
I was surfing Instagram and I typed in the hashtag photo organization and came up with some really Instagram worthy pictures. But let’s be honest, that’s not my real life right now! I do not have the capacity to sit down and go back a year by year by year and sort through my photos. I’m guessing you don’t either!
That’s why sorting your printed photos into stages of life is going to go much faster and also condense the amount of photo boxes you’ll need.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO ORGANIZE PHOTOS?
As I already said, the best way to organize your printed photos is going to be by stages of life. The best way going forward, to keep your photos organized is going to be… By stage of life!
The goal here is, yes to organize past photos, but also to have photos to continue to add to your storage boxes. Gone are the days where we would come back from a vacation with a roll of film to print. Proof that the vacation happened. 24 photos or 48 if you choose duplicates!
Now we come back from a vacation with 2,400 pictures all stored on our phone. no wonder we’re overwhelmed. In a few years from now there will be no proof that we actually went on that vacation because those pictures will be lost somewhere in digital space collecting digital dust.
The best way to organize digital photos is in fact by year. Because our nifty little phones have the capability of doing all of that for us! Making it way easier to create folders on our phone or on a hard drive with a year in a month and dragging and dropping everything in!
WHAT IS THE BEST PROGRAM FOR ORGANIZING PHOTOS?
As a past professional photographer I have loads of systems that you could use for organizing. Ways to cut corners and to save time. Ways to view the metadata and to flag your most favorite photos. All of those systems and programs cost a lot of money.
So instead of telling you to go buy this and subscribe to that I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I have created the best system for photo organization! You can learn more about it right here. But if you’re not quite ready to actually join the program then you can go a step farther than this blog post and join the free 30-minute workshop for photo organization: Three Reasons Why Organizing Your Photos is Actually Way Easier Than You Think because we can’t go fully in-depth right here right now I take it to the next level here in the workshop.
HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE OLD PHOTOS?
I was recently talking with one of my other students about organizing her old photos. She had so many different possibilities of how she could organize them: by category, by theme, by location… The list grew and grew and I could tell from the sound in her voice that she was getting more and more overwhelmed.
This was supposed to be a simplification process. I asked her to, instead of having a mindset that was stuck in all the possibilities of what she wanted, I encouraged her to shift her mindset into an archival way of thinking.
When you are organizing your photos old or new you are preparing them, not only for yourself but for the generations to come. What is going to make the most sense for the next generation?
When I helped my mom go through the process of photo organization it was extremely helpful for me to be sitting right beside her so that she could ask me if I cared about this picture or not. Does this picture mean anything to me or not? A lot of the times she knew the answer before asking. But sometimes if a picture meant more to her than it meant to me she had to ask.
And now it’s hard to think in this way but what you are doing now is actually going to be for your children. It’s not as much for you. It’s your legacy. It’s Your Love Story!
PHOTO ORGANIZATION WORKSHOP
Getting your photos organized on your phone its probably something you think about often, I mean you carry your phone with you all over the place. You open your camera roll dozens of times a day. It’s always nagging at you, in the back of your mind.
Organize me, keep me safe. They seem to be saying!
But you also have shoe boxes full. You might have a tub that your mom gave you two years ago that sitting in your attic. You might have scrapbooks left over from high school. photo organization isn’t just your phone. And photo organization isn’t just for peace of mind.
Getting your photos organized is a way to pass down your legacy and to share your story. If you’ve been reading this or if you’ve listened in to the podcast and you find yourself nodding your head and agreeing. You know this is something that needs to be done but you’re pretty sure it will take you way more time than you have to invest in it. Yes it’s important but so is making dinner and putting away the laundry!
What if I told you, you could get your photos organized while you make dinner and while you put away the laundry.
Join me for the 30-minute photo organization Workshop: Three Reasons Why Organizing Your Photos is Actually Way Easier Than You Think.
We’re going to discuss exactly what needs to be done for your printed photos your digital photos and creating a system to make sure that you don’t get backed up and disorganized again. The workshop starts off in the first few minutes with a tip you can put into action immediately. A tip that will blow your mind!
You can tune into the photo organization Workshop at any time just click here.