Who remembers the days of using rolls of film that we placed inside our cameras, shot 24 or 36 pictures, removed the film, had it developed (probably duplicates) and placed them in a pocket photo album? Those days are long gone. Buying a roll of film? I don’t think so. Now with the technology of digital photos, we have a tendency to shoot away not even realizing that we just shot hundreds of photos at an event or gathering.
When we used rolls of film, the average family shot about 12 rolls of film a year. That’s an average of one roll per month. Today, the average family shoots about 7,000 digital pictures a year. Multiply that by 18 years of your children’s lives. That comes out to about 126,000 photos. Now that’s a big number.
Take a look at these statistics from APPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers):
- 75% of US households own a digital camera
- 86% of all digital images never leave the camera
- 30.4 billion images are saved a year and very few are printed
- 750 million photos were uploaded to Facebook on New Year’s Day 2011
- Photos are vulnerable to hard drive crashes and technical obsolescence
- Time is destroying home movies and videotapes such as VHS, 8MM, 35 mm, etc.
- Every 2 minutes today, we snap as many photos as the whole of humanity took in the 1800′s. In fact, 10% of all the photos we have were taken in the past 12 months
We are experiencing digital overload. Because we do not have to worry about purchasing film and paying to have it developed, we click our snapshot buttons endlessly. I remember just getting my digital camera and attending my son’s baseball games. They were always so much fun with much activity. In his senior year of high school, his team played at Cooperstown. Needless to say, I got a little carried away and shot over 600 pictures for this one baseball game. By the time the baseball season was over, I had a couple thousand pictures to sort through so I could create his special memory.
So, how can we manage our digital overload? Here are some tips you can apply to bring order to your digital photos.
- To start, be sure all your photos are off your phones, tablets and old computers and stored in one designated place.
- Once you have all your photos in one place on one computer, be sure to back it up. We, as Photo Organizers, recommend two back up places. One could be in the cloud and the other on an External Hard Drive (EHD). Or if you don’t like the cloud, then store on two different EHDs. If you purchase two EHDs at the same time and they are from the same manufacturer and one becomes defective, then you will probably have a problem with both.
- Next, apply the ABCs of Photo Organizing to your photos. This is a method that will help you sort and purge your photos. A is for Album. These are the photos that you want to put in an Album. They are the ones that tell a story. B is for those photos that you want to keep, just not in an album. You would store them in an “archival safe” photo box. C is for can … as in trash can. They are photos that are blurry, fuzzy or undefined. They can be pictures of scenery you don’t even know where it is or places you didn’t even go to. Many times we inherit our parent’s photos, and their collection includes vacations that are meaningless to us. Toss those.
- Rename your photos. Having them identified by the assigned photo number is not a helpful way to search for them when needed. Renaming them will make your search easier. You could put the year first, event second and name of person last. As an example: 2012GraduationLeslie. This way when you want to search for Leslie’s Graduation pictures you can put Leslie and Graduation in the search bar and up they will come.
- Create folders once you have identified the photos and move them into their appropriate folder. Name the folders accordingly. If you want a folder that has all of Leslie’s pictures in them, then the name of the folder would be LeslieJones for example. But then inside that main folder you will have sub folders. One would be Graduation.
- Storing your photos on Facebook is not the way to go. First, Facebook downgrades your photo. So if you want to retrieve them back, they will be of lesser quality. Secondly, those photos that are on Facebook are the rights of others to use or share. So putting a few photos on your page is ok but I would highly recommend not your whole collection.
- Know this … inaction will lead to loss. You cannot ignore your digital photos, and think nothing will ever happen. Your risks are high that you will loose them. There is no guaranteed way to 100% preserve your digitals photos, however these are ways to lessen the risk.
- Once you shoot photos at an event, quickly go through your camera and delete those that aren’t worth saving.
- The next step is to upload those photos to your computer, create a folder and identify each photo.
- Remember … shoot, cherish and share your photos, and make those precious memories.
Still feeling overwhelmed with your digital photos even after following these organizational tips? Let’s connect.
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Professional Organizer & Certified Photo & Home Movie Organizer