Monday, July 2, 2012

Keeping Track of Photos

****I'm on VACATION!!!! While I'm away, I have some art and non-art posts scheduled. I'm so glad you are stopping by to visit, and as always, I appreciate your comments, but I'll be a little slower to respond than normal.*****

I'm always interested in how different people archive their photos. These days, when you can snap as many photos as you like without wasting film/printing them out, it's easy to get a little snap happy.

I'll be the first to admit that my process can be cumbersome, but it's not too bad if you keep up with it, and it really does make locating the photos later on much easier.

(I started using Shutterfly years ago (when Ellie was born) because they offer free photo sharing websites, which allowed me share photos online instead of sending gigantic .jpgs to friends and family.)

Here's the nitty gritty:

- I keep all the photos on our computer, divided by month. At the end of a year, I drop all these 'sub-folders' into a year folder.
- I name all the photos to indicate Month/Year, who is in them, and a brief description of what is going on (ex. Aug 11 Ellie riding pony at the fair). If there are multiple photos of the same event/thing (and there always are), I just add a number at the end of the label (it's easy to cut and paste the title and then just change the numbers at the end). This is an EXCELLENT activity to do while watching TV.
- Periodically (ideally every other week, but more often monthly), I upload the photos to Shutterfly, grouping them by month. At that point I also update the girls' website. (That's right, I have a website for each of the girls because I'm insane, but mostly because I'm a second child -- whose baby book was only partially completed -- and I'm trying to be as fair as possible when it comes to stuff like this.)

This takes time, but I feel that putting in the effort now will make a huge difference later on when I (or the girls) can't remember where they were, or who that other person in the picture is. It's also helpful for the folks viewing the photos on their websites to know what is going on. Plus, when you print the photos from Shutterfly, it prints the title of the file on the back, so even if they get out of order, or I don't get around to scrapping them right away, I've got the title/date right there.

Also, since everything is labeled, I can run searches for pictures with particular individuals or subjects (bath, school, etc.) without having to sort through folders and folders, or recall when exactly something happened.

If I know one of my sisters/parents took a bunch of photos during a trip, I'll include those too so that everything is in the same place.

Using Shutterfly (or whatever site you are signed up for) also helps with my peace of mind. Since I have the photos on the computer, and on Shutterfly, I have an automatic back up should something fail. My plan is to also burn CDs/DVDs of the photos by year....just haven't quite gotten around to that yet.

What do you think? Too much? Too little? I'd love to hear your digital photo storage solutions too!


  1. Well, I definitely have a comment on this! And that would be ... awesome! If you can make it less difficult for yourself when you look back, or more importantly, for future generations then kudos to you! How many people find photos from the past and have NO IDEA when, where or who's in the picture? Kudos to you for taking the time for the future... :)

  2. Your discipline will definitely pay off in the future. I used to be more organized pre-digital photos, when you could print them out and keep them in a labeled envelope, but you're right that the data-management aspect (cross-referencing) with digital is even better. Now I just need to archive my ever-increasing list of stamp sets!

  3. I loveeeeeee how you sort yours!! I need to work on something for me!!

  4. great tips...hope you are enjoying your vacation..