Taking, enjoying and sharing your photos, should be pretty simple right?
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 what 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 may 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.
Here is a typical step by step process of organizing a digital photo collection
- After a brief phone call, we will set up a time to meet at your home. While I can get some info from you over the phone, a home visit will be necessary to see your set-up and get specific information before i can quote you a fee.
- I will send you a list of places that your photos may be residing, although you are probably familiar with most locations, there may be a few places you did not think of. We want to find ALL your photos.
- We will usually copy all your photos and videos to an external hard drive, I will bring a drive with me, but you may provide one of your own as well. I will show you how to mark all your images so we can clean them off your computers later.
- One of the first things I do it is to make sure that any work you have previously done is retained. For instance, if you have placed some photos in folders or albums with descriptive information, I will transfer that info into the keyword field of the images in those folders or albums. I will provide you with a list of those keywords so you will be able to find them later, and even create new albums to place them in.
- I will take the drive back to my office and over the course of the next week or so I will scan, identify and remove duplicates from your collection. I use two separate duplicate finding software programs and will do a manual visual check as well. While I cannot guarantee that I will find 100% of the dupes, I generally find about 98% or better. I will never delete the duplicates, I will place them in a folder for your to review later if you wish. I never remove similars, only exact duplicates.
- After duplicates have been identified and removed, the remaining photos will be sorted into chronological folders, usually indicated by year, sometimes by year and month. I will also sort videos separately if you wish.
- We have now created a file folder structure of your entire photo and video collection with no duplicates.
- Re-integrating the photos back into your photo library is the last step. This will be done based on a variety of factors including your storage capacities but most importantly your wishes on how you would like to interact with your photo collection going forward.
- Backup options and Cloud storage will be discussed for safe-keeping.
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.