This is the second part of a guest post from Kate Amberg of Creating Memories Now – a photo organizing business in Las Vegas, NV. She is an expert in organizing photos and photo collections. If you have not yet read Part 1, where we covered Collecting, Selecting and Sorting, you can find it here.
Many photo organizers digitize as part of their business (I do!) – We want to help!
- Scan the index card on top of each pile; keeping your “A” pictures first and your “B” pictures behind.
- Set up a digital folder for each folder (using the details from that same index card)
- Name the folder based on the index card (always start with year, if you know it)
- ALWAYS include the index card number from the top corner (201, 202, 203, – as noted above).
Sample: “1994 Aunt Ginnys Wedding 201” or “1986 College Graduation 202”
TIP: Because computers like to sort by ‘number’ – if your folders are named starting with a date, they will naturally sort themselves as they’re loaded onto your computer.
Once you’ve got your collection digitized, you can make the decision about where the originals should live.
Once digitized, your photo collection becomes all about the backup and we all know, first-hand or otherwise, that computers and data need backed up.
I encourage everyone to digitize their “A” photos at the very least.
If you’re downsizing, digitize the “B” photos as well
Your photo collection will be digital and not one more “thing” that you will need to find storage space for.
3-3-2 Protection Method
Protect your memories and important files from hard drive failure, acts of God, theft, and natural disasters
Make sure you have 3 copies on 3 devices in 2 locations.
You 3 Copies and Devices can be
- your computer,
- a separate hard drive
- archival discs
- flash drives
- cloud storage platforms like Dropbox, Forever.com iCloud etc.,
And Finally – make sure your collection lives in at least two physical locations – if your computer is in one place – then you should have a set of archival discs somewhere else (e.g. work, sibling’s house, storage facility) to protect from disaster. Good cloud storage is a perfect 2nd location. Backing up your computer system is equally as important. Time Machine (iOS) and systems like www.BackBlaze.com are safeguards for your system, as well as your photos.
Build the foundation for your photo collection
through sorting, digitizing, and saving; and then
decorate it using software applications and social media.
SHARING is all about having your photos accessible, so that you can easily get your hands on them (or your mouse) and be able to send to someone, post to social media or contribute to an album, montage or life event.
Digital frames offer a great option for sharing. They typically have a small amount of memory built in, so photos can be uploaded directly. USB plugins make these frames easily usable and there are even digital frames with WIFI access, where photos can be uploaded remotely.
There are great photo software product choices out there for editing, organizing, etc. These go beyond the simple file structure you already created on your computer and these options can take your collection to another level —
Many people know about Google’s Picasa, but there is also Forever.com, iPhotos (no longer supported, but still useable for many) and Apple’s newer Photos, but also products like MYLIO (My Life Organized www.mylio.com ) and Adobe’s Lightroom (part of their Creative Content suite of products)
In my opinion – A good photo software product will allow you to
- “grade” your pictures – for example, in MYLIO, you can mark your photos ‘green’, ‘yellow’, ‘red’ – mirroring your original “A”, “B”, “C” designations.
- Keep your original file structure from your digitizing process (MYLIO does that as well)
- Import, Export and Edit your photos easily
There are many software applications available and I’ll be offering my opinions and reviews of some of the most accessible software items on my site in the future. Most software systems have free trials – take the time try them out.
We’ve come full-circle through the photographic ecosystem! Look at all that you’ve accomplished.
Photo collections are important to everyone and future generations will thank you for the organizing you do now. If you need help, check out the website for Photo Organizers www.appo.org and look for a professional in your area who can help you sort…scan…and share your photos and stories; and of course you can always contact me if you have questions at www.CreatingMemoriesNow.com
Jeff and Megan here: THANK YOU very much to Kate for taking her time out to speak with us and our meetup group. We hope this post will help you with your own organization. What do you think? Did this help you with your photos? We’d love to hear in the comments!