I love to take pictures! Whenever we go out with the kids or my Mom and Dad or basically anyone, it is always a time for me to take out my phone or camera and shoot away. Since I started creating scrapbooks, I have learned how to take photos in a whole new way and now that everything is digital I can take a ton of pictures. So I wind up with stacks and stacks of photos or folders and folders full of digital images. As far as the printed pictures go, this can get overwhelming for many, but I can help. I previously worked teaching others how to organize their photos and how to get both the pictures and their memories down in albums. I always joke around with my Mom because of the way the photos were in our house while I was growing up. You could open up a drawer and find a hundred photos in there ranging from my prom to my grandmother’s 5th birthday to when my older brother was born. It was always an adventure. The only problem we would come across with this storage system, was that eventually people forget dates, times and even people and that is sad. The reality is this happens to all of us, I can’t tell you how many times I swore I would remember an event only to look back in a few years trying to figure out when it occurred. So, for me, getting my photos into albums and writing down a few quick notes about the events of that day are key.
In order to be able to take this step or start this type of project, you need to have your photos in hand and in some sort of order. To do this, I grab a “Creative Memories” photo organizer and start going through all the pictures. There are a number of photo-safe organizers out there, grab a big one and let’s get to sorting. If you put your mind to it, you can do this in a few short sessions. The important part is to not get sucked into memory lane, or you will not finish this project. So the basics are to have your bags or stacks of photos out, you will also need a bunch of post-it notes and a garbage bag. When you are going through the pictures be realistic, don’t save every pic of that cute kitten, throw away any out of focus shots and choose a few great shots. How many shots of the same subject do you really need? This is the hardest part for most, it is the letting go phase, but trust me, once you have chosen some fantastic pics, you won’t even miss those not so great shots.
The next step is to start the organizing, now there are a number of ways to do this, by date, by subject or by event. Date is the easiest, however, like me you might have already forgotten some of these dates. So I organize my photos with a mixture of all of these ideas. Like I said I have a ton of photos so I start with organizing them by year and if I can’t figure out the year, then I try to guess where they would go chronologically by what is in the pictures themselves. This should whittle down this pile quite a lot. From here, you can sort pictures into subjects like Christmas or Easter or Halloween, you can also group the photos into event sections like summer vacation, birthdays or family fun. This is really more about getting the photos out of the bags and boxes and into photo-safe storage. Once you have this taken care of, your hard work is done. I am not saying this is a one, two, three project, it takes time and focus, but the end result will be so worth it. It is a fantastic accomplishment and an even better feeling knowing that all your precious memories are stored away safely. As I am sorting, I will use a photo pencil to write down a few notes, like dates or names, on the back of some of the photos or on a post-it note. This project doesn’t have to be a long drawn out thing, but it also doesn’t have to be a weekend warrior event. This is a project that you can start and continue to do a little at a time or at your own pace. I will spend the next few blogs discussing other organizing tips for your photos, I will also help with your digital files, so stay tuned. Thanks and Good Night.