Let’s talk about digital file maintenance. Wait, wait…don’t stop reading!
Why should you find the time to keep your digital images organized and searchable? Because it’s so worth it in the end. Herein lies an “Ode to Everyday Pictures”.
As you might imagine with my chosen profession, I have some digital image filing strategies that I’ve honed over the last 8 years. Although I organize my client images a little differently than my personal images, I definitely have a plan for both which is half the battle.
Do you have a plan in place? I’m definitely not as organized and diligent as I’d like to be, but, it’s really important to me that I remember to go back and look at the pictures I’ve taken over the years and to share them with other people who are in them.
The method that works for me allows me to quickly identify images that are special for any guests that visit us or for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. For instance, this weekend we have some college friends visiting. Always so much fun! And because of how I organize my digital image files, I was able to grab 80….yeah, I know….EIGHTY images of things that they will hopefully enjoy seeing again over our 20+ year friendship. And I did it in about 20 minutes. So worth it.
I popped them onto an SD card and then into a simple randomizing digital picture frame which we can enjoy glancing at over the weekend.
There are so many ways that you can choose to organize and that can be really overwhelming until you commit to a method and run with it. Some prefer to organize by event or location. I prefer to organize by who is in the photograph. For instance, “Dan Susan CAJ CDJ 2-10-17.jpg”. When I want to find pertinent images for CAJ, I search “CAJ” and all of the images where he is present show up. Badaboom, Badabing.
Pro-Tip #1. Try not to let the enormity of a project stop you from starting at all. Start with your most recent pictures first. Once you work through a few months, you’ll begin to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Try an image organizing software or even just rename your own files. Begin chunking back a little at a time. Give yourself 30 minutes on certain times of the week and churn out what you can.
Pro-Tip #2. Give yourself permission to put the “big” project on hold after you’ve gotten several months or a year under your belt and do a “little” project to show the fruits of your labor. Choose some favorite images in the last year to share with your family on your tablet, digital picture frame or even mirrored to your television. The positive feedback you’re sure to get get will re-invigorate your determination to forge on!
I’m a big fan of yearly photo albums. I posted an example of these awhile back on my Instagram account. But, there are an awful lot of pictures that don’t make the book. I mean, my books would be huge!! So it’s fun once in awhile to dig a little deeper and grab personalized images for a special occasion. And it costs zero dollars. Can’t beat that.
I like to repeat to clients a saying that I heard several years ago. “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be JPEGS”. Well, if they DO grow up to be JPEGs, at least you can find fun ones fast and share them with others….which is kind of the point, yes?
Happy filing, friends!