We are living in a constant state of digital acquisition and accumulation, and nowhere is that more evident than with our photos. Last year it is estimated that over one trillion photos were taken last year.

How many did you take last year? How many photos will you have in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? And what about video? Yikes!

Digital photography and especially our smartphones have changed the world, but it has also given us a photo mess. Managing our photos collections has become a headache and that’s a shame.

When I talk to people about this, these are the questions I hear most often.
How do I organize my photos?
How do I protect my photos?
How in the world do I even find my photos?

We are also seeing so many natural and man-made disasters occurring in our towns and cities. Are your Family Photos safe if something should occur? Would you know which hard drive to grab in the short time you have to decide?

There are solutions, the important thing is to find one that works for you. But, the longer you wait, the harder it will be.



So where do you start? It starts with a conversation!

Every person, every family’s situation is different. Of course it is important to know if you are on a Mac or Windows platform, how many devices or cameras you and your family use to take pictures, things like that. But it is also important to know how comfortable or uncomfortable you are with digital technology, and most importantly what you want or plan to do with your photos and how you like to enjoy them.

Digital Organizing:
Here is a typical step by step process of organizing a digital photo collection

  1. Collect all images. All images and videos will be collected off of all your computers, devices, cards, drives, cameras and any other places they might be residing. If we are going to organize all your photos, we want to organize ALL your photos.

  2. Retain work you have done. All previous identifying work you have done, such as folder names or albums you created, will be retained as best as possible. This information will be entered into the keyword field of those images, which will allow them to be searched for and located regardless of any software you use to catalog it. This is an important way to maintain your collection for the long term. A list of these keywords will be provided to you as hard copy and a PDF and this will allow you to create new albums and projects.

  3. Remove duplicates. Scanning for duplicates will identify all versions of the exact same image. Specific criteria are used to identify the largest and highest quality versions of each image to ensure that only the best duplicate is retained.

  4. Create a permanent archive. Images will be sorted into chronological folders ordered by Year/Month to create a permanent archive of your photo collection that can be stored for safe-keeping.

  5. Re-integrating you collection into photo catalog. We will discuss the best way and best programs for you to interact with your photo collection and set it up.

  6. Back-up and storage options. Setting up a back up and storage system on local drives and/or a cloud platform to ensure safe-keeping.

  7. Summary of work done and best practices going forward. Organizing your photo collection is a good start, but ensuring that it stays that way is very important too. We will discuss how to maintain your collection, how to use the programs you have decided on, as well as some best practices going forward.

Print Collections:

Prints often get stored in boxes, sometime into their original envelopes, sometimes not. We often place our favorite prints in photo albums, which can actually put them at a greater risk for damage, yellowing and brittleness.

Organizing print collections are usually done in conjunction with scanning which is the only way of safely preserving prints and enabling them to be shared with others.

If you need help with editing or organizing your prints, either in general or for a specific project such as albums, slideshows or a special event, please give me a call and we will discuss it. I can often provide you with different ideas and options to help you preserve and enjoy these valuable pieces of your family history

Need a Helping Hand?

Not all jobs are complicated, sometimes you may just need some help getting your photo collection in order, or want to get some training on how to manage things going forward. We can work together to accomplish whatever it is you may need, whether it is learning how to keep your photo collection manageable or how to better use some popular photo apps.

Learn more about how to get started.