How Do You Organize Your Photos?

Today I want to talk about a practical aspect of memory-keeping, namely, how I go about organizing photos.

First, I feel like I should clarify that I am not actually very good at this.  I have plenty of photos stored on my computer, and I have something of an organization system, but there is much room for improvement.  Still, I thought I'd share what I do and ask how you all go about organizing photos!

Organizing Digital Photos

For my digital photos, I try to keep the photos I take organized in folders by year and month.  So I'll have a folder for 2017, and in that folder I'll have a folder for each month.  In recent years I've organized them even further and I try to split each month into separate "event" folders - for example, in my September 2017 folder I have folders for "Autumn Hike", "Clarice's Birthday", "34 Weeks Pregnant", etc.  I think this helps me find the photos I'm looking for a little easier, assuming I can remember the year/month of the event - which I usually can, because I somehow am able to remember pictures I take even better than the real-life events.  This is one reason why taking photos is so important to me!  It helps me remember the different fun things we did together.

My recent project - and by recent I mean the project I've been working on over the last year and a half - is going through all these folders and deleting the photos that were no good.  In the past, I've gotten lazy and just dumped photos into a folder without editing them or deleting the throw-aways, so I'm trying to clear out some of the photo clutter.  I am in the process of creating a folder for each year of my "favorite" photos, the ones that I would actually like to get printed up (this is difficult because there are so many).

Which leads to the next aspect of organizing my photos...

Organizing Printed Photos

I am really struggling with figuring out how to organize my printed photos.  I have albums from our early years of marriage and Wyatt's first couple of years, but I quickly realized that I'm not going to have enough room in my house to store albums of all our family photos.  So what to do?  Like I said, I have a ton of photos that I hope to eventually get printed.  I need to narrow them down further, but then what?  

I'm considering just buying cute-looking boxes to hold each year of photos - I can fit a lot more prints into a box than in albums.  However, I'm also aware that this is a messier option and not as fun as an album to look through, so I'm still debating on what to do.  It's going to take me a while to get caught up on printing photos, so I guess I have time to figure it out!

So how do you all organize your photos?  Do you have any sort of system?  Are you better than I am at getting them printed up?  Give me your tips!

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Elyse said...

I recently discovered Google photos to back up the photos that I have on my phone. I also use two external hard drives to back up my monthly/yearly pictures. I am the same way about deleting the "bad" photos and I feel like I have been needing to do this forever! In terms of printed photos, I do a "Family Year Book" every January of last year's favorite pictures. I use Shutterfly and I always wait for a good 50% off discount code before I order :-) But the kids and my husband and I love looking through our year books and I love having our photos organized and printed in one simple book!

Emily Powell said...

I do my digital images the same way. I keep them stored on two external hard drives. For printed images I do one family "yearbook" each year and print all my photos in a photobook from Shutterfly. Each kid has their own photobook of their pregnancy and delivery and I do one photobook of our chirstmas pictures as well. Each family vacation also gets its own shutterfly photobook. I order when I have gift cards and promo codes. For vacations and christmas I get the small 8x8 paper back and the family one I do hard backed. That saves on space.

Emily Powell said...

ha! I super serious about my memory keeping!

Rachel said...

I loved scrapbooking in the past but it just doesn't fit well into the transitory/international lifestyle. I like to have photos up to look at, so I have a photo collage on my wall with over 100 photos from probably the last decade, and sometimes I print a few more photos to add to it. Occasionally for special events I'll make one of those digital photo books that you can order online and have printed--usually as a gift for my mom because photos of her family are her favorite thing ever. I made one for her and for my mother-in-law of the family's trip to the USA this summer. But for me, I usually just do the files on my computer, separated by month.

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