The ABCs of Photo Organization

Deciding what photos to keep can be overwhelming. Following a few simple guidelines can make this process easier, and I rely on the ABCs of photo organizing to stay on track. 

Your kid may be "just too cute!!!" but how many poses of each shot do you really need? #goofball

Your kid may be "just too cute!!!" but how many poses of each shot do you really need? #goofball

A stands for Album

These photos are the most important and belong in an album. It’s important to understand that not all photos need to go in an album. The ones you choose are often the most personal, and cherished. Less is more!  

B stands for Box

Photos that are important enough to keep should be stored in archive quality boxes for long term storage, or backed up thoroughly if digitized.   

C stands for Can

These photos can go in the ‘trash can’ or your delete file. Toss duplicates, blurry or unflattering photos, excess scenery photos, etc.  

S stands for Story

This is the most important part. Does the photo tell a STORY?! Keep any photos that clearly tell a story. An old blurry photo may have your Dad’s first car in the background! Be careful you aren’t tossing history. 

Sorting Photos

Our natural tendency is to sort chronologically, but with today’s high volume of photos it can be overwhelming. Whether you are organizing printed or digital photos, the process is always the same. Choose to organize in themes that represent your life.  

Weddings, Vacations, Sports, Heritage,  By Child , Pets, School, Christmas, Birthdays

These are just a few examples, and themes will vary from one family to the next. Themes can also be sorted in chronological order for easy access.     

Safeguarding Your Photos

With today’s rapidly changing technology, protecting our photos continues to be a challenge.  Experts recommend that you back up photos in three ways.  
Two Computer Sources: Besides the computer drive that your images are stored on, you should have an external hard drive where your photos are backed up regularly. Two computer locations will ensure your photos are safe in the event of a computer crash, and easily restored.  

CD/Picture Keeper Backup: Schedule a monthly backup reminder and store images on Archival CDs. These types of disc are high quality and designed for long-term, stable storage. The likelihood that these discs will be readable 10 years from now are high. Even today, we are transferring obsolete media into current readable forms easily. Picture Keeper is a space-saving device that has built in software that intuitively seeks out your digital images from your PC or MAC. This USB flash drive is small enough to store in a safety deposit box outside of your home.  

Online Storage: APPO, the Association of Personal Photo Organizers, recommends storing your ‘A photos’ with an offsite service, commonly known as cloud storage. I can recommend a cloud based storage system that offers the security you need plus the added advantage of unlimited photo storage and accessibility from many devices for easy, private sharing.  

Print Your Photos: This is by far the safest and most reliable form of backup. Getting your printed photos into albums or printed photo books is the best way to ensure that your photos will survive technology changes and cloud storage. Everyone will still have ‘eyes’ 50 years from now, but technology will be vastly different. 

Need Help?

Do you need assistance sorting through your ever-growing archive of pictures? Or perhaps you've taken the plunge with the advice above and have everything organized and backed up like a professional—but now want to show off some of those 'A photos' in an heirloom quality book. I'm here to help! Set up a free consultation to see how we can best work together—and let your pictures shine.

This post courtesy of APPO.