Photos today are digital for almost everyone. Photos start and may live their whole lives on phones and digital cameras. Taking pictures is now easy. Organizing them, however, is not.
When I joined APPO, the Association of Personal Photo Organizers, I figured I would learn from the best and then drop my membership. Honestly, what I’ve learned is how fractured, complex, and ever-changing the world of digital photos is. I attend 1-2 training sessions each week on photo organizing. Rather than overwhelm you, I’m going to ask you to learn how to take stock of what you do and don’t know how to do. Just check off what you already know how to do, so you can take care of those priceless memories.
- Take a picture with a digital camera or phone,
- Remove and replace the memory card in your digital camera.
- Move your photos off your camera or card to someplace “safe”.
- Move photos off of old computers you would recycle… if you could just be sure they didn’t hold photos.
- Back up your photos to an external hard drive copy.
- Back up your photos to a cloud service, any one.
- Put your photos on a private sharing service so you can share with friends and family (not Facebook).
- Pull photos down off of the cloud or Facebook.
- Make a physical photo book from digital photos.
- Get select photos printed near you.
If you know how to do half of these things, you are a rock star. All of these things are important, but in this age of overwhelm, the single most important tool that any photographer has is the delete key.
Resolve to delete as many photos as you can bear.
Delete them for any little reason at all. Bad lighting. Fuzzy hands. Nobody needs 18 shots of the very same scene. You and your ancestors will appreciate that you kept the excellent photos that truly told your story.
It took you five minutes to read this article. Take the next five minutes to scroll through the pictures you’ve taken just since New Year’s Day, and delete as many as you can.
Because you will have to manage the ones that are left... You’ll have to store, edit, print, scroll past, share, and ultimately transfer them onto some new device or medium. Chose carefully.
In the next 15 minutes, can you review and delete unwanted pictures from just this year? Can you get through last year’s batch? Shout out in comments and let me know how you do.
This post is part of my 31 days of 30-minute Organizing Projects. Be sure to subscribe for daily emails with projects you can complete in just a few minutes to start your New Year off right.