Our most recent Los Angeles magazine post, Confessions of A Guilty Mama Part One: Photobooks, may cause a pang of anxiety. It’s about all of those kid pictures eating up your hard drive or fading away in plastic bins. The post is the first in a series on Mama Guilt.
After you’ve calmed down and recognized that you are part of the majority (the non-photobook makers), we wanted to share practical tips on organizing your pictures. Where to begin? Here are the basics to get started and a couple of links to some stellar suggested organizing systems:
- Start with your most recent pix and work back. Don’t make yourself crazy trying to address photos dating back to 2002.
- Edit, edit, edit. It’s tough to do, kinda like throwing away your kid’s artwork (which we will address another time), but you do not need multiple just okay shots. Get rid of ones that are blurry, too dark, too bright or of people you don’t even know. Create a routine so that every time you transfer your pictures from your camera to your computer, you go through them right then to delete.
- Create folders by kid and year, ie: Maverick Photobook 2010, and go through events picking your top 3-5 pictures and drop them into the folder. Use that folder to create your photobook for the year. You could also create special folders for Grandparent Holiday Gifts or a special Baby Book filled with all star pix. You can even create a folder of pictures to print and put into old school photo albums.
- While your going through events, name each event and each jpeg to make them easier to search later. Use the date and a brief description, like 2008_10_31 Halloween or 20081031 Halloween. Most photo programs will allow you to rename entire batches of pictures to save time.
- Consider including key words, or “tagging”, in your photo-naming strategy, then you can easily search for photos by specific themes. (Flickr, Picasa, iPhoto and Lightroom all allow this.)
- Back-up photos onto DVDs and/or external hard drives. Ideally, every 3 months. Calendar it. Keep one set of DVDs or a hard rive at home and one someplace else (spouse’s office, grandma’s, etc.). Nothing is worse than having a hard drive crash. Soraya lost most of Lila’s first photos this way; it is devastating.
- Use holidays and birthdays as a reminder to make at least one annual photobook. Maybe an annual (and reasonable) gift for grandparents for Christmas or Hannukah? Maybe around Mother’s Day? Or each child’s birthday? Make it a ritual.
- Got a million iPhone pix? Download the Mosaic App onto your phone or iPad. You can VERY easily create and order super cool books from your phone. See a pic below.
These super smart folks have broken down organizing photos into fantastic step-by-step guides: