Holly Blackwell is joining us this week for a three part series on her photo organization system. Holly is a wife, mom, and step-mom living in South Carolina. You can find Holly online at chronicles of a southern scrapper.
Perfection is Overrated
At this point, I scroll through my photos relatively quickly, and make minor adjustments. Rotate. Fix red-eye. Maybe crop. Basic contrast/brightness editing. Nothing fancy. Nothing time-consuming. Heavy editing can be done later when you are ready to use a photo in an actual project.
Back it Up
Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve heard it a million times before, but always back up your photos. My personal suggestion is to load photos online to a site that will serve as an off-site back-up, as well as a way to share photos. I use Flickr and would highly recommend it. I enjoy that I can set up â€œcollectionsâ€ and â€œsetsâ€ that mirror the folder structure on my computer. It also grabs my tags automatically. Since I have a detailed file naming process in place, my pictures load with this basic caption (file name) in place, but I can add additional comments if I choose.
Share the Wealth
This step (or steps) is definitely optional, but for me, sharing photos Iâ€™ve taken is part of the joy in having them. These steps should be totally personalized to what works for you. I have three steps in this part of my process.
- Move favorites to iPhone â€“ I have a folder on my computer that automatically syncs with my phone. I move absolutely favorites there, and resize them. This is the digital version of having photos in your wallet!
- Blog Post â€“ I do a weekly recap post on my blog that includes pictures that represent our weekly activities. You can see an example of this here. Sometimes, for bigger events, I will do specific posts, such as this one.
- E-mail â€“ If there are friends, extended family members, etc. in my photos, I will send them an email with a Flickr link so they can view the photos.
Write it Down
As a scrapbooker, itâ€™s very important to document the details of photographs and any thoughts or feelings associated with them. You need to get them down â€˜on paperâ€™ as quickly as possibleâ€¦before the memory fades. As the final part of my photo process, I make journaling notes in a Word document. I keep a monthly file, which is saved in the same folder as the photos from that month.
Some photos may only need a quick sentence to describe whatâ€™s going on. Others may lend themselves to paragraphs of details and emotion. The point is to get it down while itâ€™s still fresh! I chose to have this step last for two reasons. One is that Iâ€™ve spent time with the photos and have had time to process them mentally. Secondly, I sometimes write details on my blog that can be copied over to my journaling file, which saves me time.
Break it Down
To keep my process organized, I have a checklist saved in Word which lists my steps. I highlight each line as I complete it for the current batch of photos. The ultimate key is doing these things in short buckets of time that fit into your life. Rarely do I sit down and spend an hour working on pictures. Typically, what happens is I steal 15-20 minutes of my time and work on a step or two of the process. By having a checklist, I can easily see where I left off and I can pick back up without wasting any time!
Thatâ€™s a Wrapâ€¦
So, there you have itâ€¦the details of my photo process. Though the descriptions above may seem long-winded and complicated, the whole process is actually quite simple and easy once implemented. Going through the steps, personalized for your needs, will allow you to purge, organize, edit, back-up and share your photos without feeling overwhelmed by the volume. And when itâ€™s time to whip together a layout or project, youâ€™ll be able to easily find what you need!
By day Holly Blackwell is a Business Analyst, and by night she is a crafter and scrapbooker (both paper and digital). She also enjoys reading, writing, volunteering and making sure she has too many projects on her plate!