Tips for Organizing and Storing Photos

Tips for Organizing and Storing Photos (via abeautifulmess.com )Hi friends! One of the most asked questions that I get is, "How do you store your photos?" I'm always intimidated by the question, because I'm not the most organized person. Saving my photos to Flickr and keeping hard drives is my method, but I know there is so much more beyond that. For that reason, I enlisted my favorite Type-A lady, Laura Gummerman, to share her methods with you. This is the start of a three part series where we will share tips for organizing, scrapbooking and displaying your photographs at home. Today we're inspired to get organized. Take it away, Laura! 

Hi everyone! Listen, I know organization doesn’t sound the most fun thing to spend time on, but we have all spent time digging through files on our computers or phones looking for that one particular photo that we swear is “in here somewhere.” Having a system for keeping your memories organized is the first step in actually getting those photos printed and displayed for your enjoyment. I’ve been wanting to do an album of my husband Todd and me for years, and I’ve just never gotten around to fully organizing and printing all the photos. Now’s my chance! Since we're talking photo printing, it was another great post for our Canon USA collaboration.

So, when thinking about photo organization, the big question to address is, “Where should I store my photos?” Great question! There are a couple of ways to do this… Tips for Organizing and Storing Photos abeautifulmess.com
Digital Organization: When I import photos from my camera or iPhone onto my computer, I always upload the photos to the same photo storing program, which could be something like iPhoto or Canon My Image Garden. I just recently started playing around with My Image Garden, and it makes it really easy to transition to the printing phase. Once my photos are uploaded, it’s important to go through and only keep the “good” ones out of each batch (no need to keep the ones where your subjects are mid-blink, etc.) Only keeping the best photos from the beginning will save you from having to go through and do lots of photo purging later. I also have a folder for each year (or for a major event like our wedding) on my computer, and I’ve found that organizing the events by year saves a lot of time when looking for a specific photo. In order to keep a safe backup for those photos, I highly recommend getting an external drive that has twice as much space as your hard drive so you can keep a copy of all your photos on that drive as well. This way, if you lose your computer, it crashes, or gets stolen, you still have your photos safe and sound on your external drive. You can either copy over only your photos onto the drive or copy your whole computer (which is what I choose to do with this program). Set a weekly or bi-weekly reminder on your phone to transfer over the data so you don’t forget. Tips for Organizing and Storing Photos abeautifulmess.com    Online Storage: Storing your photos online is another great way to backup your files. Services like Flickr or Photobucket allow you to have peace of mind knowing that a house fire or theft won’t result in lost photos. Or if you want to keep your folders in tact, you can use a cloud option like DropBox or Google Drive. You can also access your photos from anywhere the internet is available or on the PIXMA Printing Solutions app, so that’s another convenient point. Depending on how much storage you need, these services can cost a yearly fee, but the benefits are worth it. Tips for Organizing and Storing Photos abeautifulmess.com Photo Boxes: Once you have your photos neatly organized and you’re ready to start printing them, you can use a photo box as a holding place between the process of printing photos and putting them in an album or scrapbook. Since we were printing all 4x6s, the Canon SELPHY printer was perfect for knocking out the task quickly and easily. Use photo dividers to divide by year or event, and they will remain organized until you are ready to use them. I also use photo boxes to keep pictures from my childhood since digital cameras didn’t really become affordable until I hit college. Tips for Organizing and Storing Photos abeautifulmess.com  Photo Album: Albums are a perfect way to organize and make your photos easily accessible. Elsie will cover her tips on scrapbooking in another post soon. But if you aren’t the type of person that would look forward to scrapbooking, then a photo album is the perfect solution for you. The nice thing about the photo album is that, since you aren’t designing each page yourself, it’s super quick and easy to just slip your photos into the designated slots. Once your photos are printed, you can quickly make several albums in 1-2 nights. All you have to decide is the photo order—easy! Plus, there are lots of cute designs and sizes to choose from (like these: 1, 2, 3, 4).

See? It’s not that hard! It just takes a little bit of purposeful planning (and maybe a few hours of getting your current photos into the right files) and you can breathe a sigh of photo contentment. Happy organizing! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Elsie Larson

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