The Summary Issue

The Summary Issue

Did you miss one of our Save Your Photos month tips?

Today’s blog is a handy summary of all the tips, all in one place.

You can also find them on our Instagram highlights – follow us there 

  1. We Are Overwhelmed

In 2019, there were over 1.4 trillion digital photos taken. There are also an estimated 1.7 trillion printed photos in boxes, albums, and drawers. No wonder we are overwhelmed! The Photo Managers can help.  Read our 5 tips to get past project overwhelm here 

  1. Set a Realistic Goal

The first step of photo organisation is to picture the end result. As with any goal, you must have a specific vision and a timeline for completion. How do you want to share and celebrate your photos?

  1. Set up for Success

Designate a temporary workspace in your home that allows you to spread out and that will be undisturbed. When your project is visible, you are more likely to remain focused and achieve your goal.

  1. Include Keepsakes

Kids’ artwork and family documents, as well as tangible keepsakes such as souvenirs and family heirlooms should be considered as part of your photo organising goal. These can be scanned or photographed and added to your collection.  Read more here

  1. Prepare for Emotions

Photos allow us to reflect on our lives, both the good and the bad. Many emotions may arise when you open long-stored boxes of photos. Allow yourself time with these feelings.  Read a case study here 

  1. Collect Your Supplies

Gather supplies for organising such as cotton or nitrile gloves for safely handling photos, empty boxes for sorting, sticky notes or index cards for categorizing, and an external hard drive for collecting digital photos.  Take a look at what is inside our photo organising tool kit here 

  1. Convert Home Movies

Time is wreaking havoc on the audio and video quality of your old home movies. Take them to a trusted professional for conversion to digital files.  Talk to Logan at Tapes to Digital

  1. Dealing with Videos

Videos, both converted home movies and clips from your phone, are an important part of your memory collection and should be organised and stored in your digital photo hub with the rest of your photos.

  1. Play Detective

Need help dating photos? Family documents and letters contain dates and information that may unlock some mysteries. Use context clues in photos such as signs, wall calendars, or birthday candles. Even the size, markings, or type of photos can be informative.  Read more here 

  1. Create a Timeline

Preparing a family timeline aids in the sorting process as you begin to tackle your photo and video collection. Begin by plotting significant milestones like marriage or birth dates. Then add school years, moves, vacations, and other details.

  1. Start With Digital

Tackle your digital photo collection first. Your images may be at greater risk than your printed photo collection if you don’t have sufficient backups in place. You will also be creating a home for your soon-to-be scanned photos.

  1. How to Organise

How should you organise your photos? There is no right or wrong way, just whatever makes sense to you. If you already have some chronology in place, look for ways to build on that structure. If your photos are unsorted, start organising by theme: holidays, vacations, kids sports, etc.

  1. Saving Kids’ Artwork

Use a flatbed scanner for 2-D artwork and snap photos of oversize, 3-D, or glitter-covered masterpieces. Even better, record your child talking about a project while holding the artwork.

  1. Take an Inventory

Once you have finished gathering your items and placed like items together, take an inventory. For example: 6 photo albums, 4 shoeboxes of photos and letters, 10 photo CDs, 3 slide carousels, etc. This is the first step in managing your project.

  1. Make a Plan

What needs to be tackled first? Do you have photos to share for a milestone birthday? Are some in poor condition and need to be scanned before they deteriorate further? Use this information and your inventory to create a plan for organising and digitizing.

  1. Back Up the Mess

Before you begin sorting your digital images, back up the mess. Then no matter what happens while you’re organising in the working copy, you’ll have a copy of the original files.  Read more about backing up here 

  1. Create a Digital Photo Hub

Your digital photo hub is a designated location, such as an external hard drive, where all your original digital and scanned photos live. Copy your digital photos and videos from all your various devices including phones, camera cards, USB sticks, etc. Then begin to sort by date or theme, or whichever organising structure you’ve determined. As you scan prints, add those image files to the hub.  Read more about Digital Photo Hub’s here 

  1. Eliminate Duplicates

Do you have too many duplicate images cluttering your photo collection? There’s an app for that! Use a duplicate finder to locate and eliminate duplicate and near-duplicate images.  Read more here 

  1. Make Good Choices

When you choose photo organising software, you need to consider your comfort level with technology, your operating system, your time, and most importantly, your lifestyle – how will you access and maintain your photos?  Read more here 

  1. Beware the Chemical Sandwich

Old magnetic or “sticky” albums contain unsafe components that act as a chemical sandwich for your photos. The acids from the plastic and adhesive are very harmful to your photos and will cause them to deteriorate. Remove the photos as quickly as possible! Read our tips for handling magnetic albums here 

  1. The Two-Second Rule

As you sort your photos, resist the urge to reminisce and linger; there will be plenty of time for that later. Hold a photo only as long as it takes to determine which pile it should be in – about two seconds.

  1. 3-2-1 Backup Strategy

Use the 3-2-1 backup strategy to safeguard your digital files. Create THREE copies of your digital data (photos, videos, documents, etc.) stored on TWO different types of media or devices (a computer and an external hard drive, for example), with ONE copy located off-site (another physical location or the cloud. Read more here 

  1. Scan Your Photos

Scanning your printed photos and slides extends the lifetime of your pictures, creates a backup, and increases your ability to share and enjoy your memories. Don’t forget to digitize your slides and negatives as well.  Remember we can help you scan all your outdated media, just get in touch and don’t forget your frames!

24. Adding Metadata

Metadata is information that is digitally attached to your images and can help identify key information. This data makes it easier for you to search for your images and helps tell the story of the photo. Photo organising software allows you to embed this information into your image files.  We highly recommend Adobe Bridge – read more about it and sign up for recommended training here 

  1. Store Prints Safely

Your printed photos and memorabilia should be stored away from light and dust in archival containers and located in the main part of the house, with average room temperatures and low humidity. Avoid basements, attics, and garages – your photos should live where you live

  1. Schedule Regular Maintenance

Once your photos and videos are organised, your collection will need regular maintenance and attention. Schedule time at regular intervals on your calendar to delete extraneous photos from your phone, ensure backups are running, and add new images to your digital photo hub.

  1. Decorate with Memories

Surrounding ourselves with favourite pictures creates a happy, loving environment for the whole family. These memories provide a positive reflection of our lives, especially during difficult times.

  1. Ways to Share

Photo books are a great way to share your photos and tell stories. Use one of the many online platforms available to design and print them. Combine photos, videos, oral narratives, and music to create meaningful video slideshows; there’s apps for that, too! Read more here 

  1. Create Photo Gifts

Once your photos are organised, it’s easy to create photo gifts to celebrate and share memories with your loved ones. Framed images, albums, mugs, photo puzzles, calendars, and more are a great way to spread the love for any occasion. See 7 unique gift ideas here

  1. Your Family Archive

Private online family websites and cloud storage companies let you upload, share, and archive family photos and memorabilia. Easily collaborate with family members, collect family history, and create timelines. When choosing a provider, take advantage of free trials and run a test with a small group of photos before you commit.

So why organise photos?

Having easy access to your photos and tangible keepsakes can help ensure you have a sense of self and family identity. Read the 3 reasons we think memory keeping is so important here 

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