saving Memories One book at a Time!Who remembers the day of rolls of film that we placed inside our camera, 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. Buy 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. Wow that’s a big number. No wonder we have on digital overload!

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 digital images are saved a year and very few are printed
  • 750 million digital photos were uploaded to Facebook on New Year’s Day 2011
  • Digital 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 digital 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 cameras endlessly. I remember purchasing 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. What fun was that? Well, 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 10 Tips you can apply to bring order to your digital photos.

  1. To start, be sure all your digital photos are off your phones, tablets and old computers and stored in one designated place.
  2. Once you have all your digital 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 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.
  3. Next apply the ABCs of Photo Organizing to your digital photos.   This method will help you sort and purge your digital 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 but 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.
  4. Rename your digital 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.
  5. Create folders once you have identified the photos and move the similar photos into its appropriate folder. Name the folders accordingly. If you want a folder that has all 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.
  6. Be sure you DON’T think that storing your digital photos on Facebook is the way to go. It is not. 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.
  7. Know this … inaction will lead to loss. You cannot ignore your digital photos, not take care of them and then think nothing will ever happen. Your risks are high that you will lose them.   There is no guaranteed way to preserve your digitals photos 100%, but these are ways to lessen the risk.
  8. Once you shoot digital photos at an Event, quickly go through your camera and delete those that aren’t worth saving.
  9. Next step would be to upload those digital photos to your computer, create a folder and identify each photo.
  10. 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, then connect with a Photo Organizer. We can help you with all your photo needs and get you on track for preserving those memories!

Your Organizing Expert …. Believing in You!

4 responses to “10 Tips to Organize Digital Photos!”

  1. Great post, Regina! The APPO stats are eye-opening! I do make it a point to delete the bad shots and I’m getting better at printing them out. Thanks for the added nudge!

  2. Seana Turner says:

    Wow – those statistics are pretty interesting. Gonna share these out as well!

  3. Sabrina Q. says:

    Great tips! Digital photos are unseen clutter. We only notice they are getting out of hand when our phones or camera storage is full. Then, we handle it, somewhat. I prefer to download my photos on Mondays every week instead of keeping them on my camera/phone and when I download them, I go through and delete the ones I don’t care for. It works nicely and keeps my clutter on my device at bay. Thanks for sharing. I will be sharing this one.

  4. Ellen Delap says:

    Great tips Regina!

    It’s true that gathering all your photos in one spot is the best first step. I also try to back up with either dropbox, carbonite, an external hard drive or a paid spot like smugmug just to be sure none are lost due to a crash.

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