Organizing Vacation Photos

triage: the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition

Your vacation was awesome. You return home, throwing down bags and yourself in a heap, exhausted. The photos you captured on your trip are one of the last things on your mind. But you know, life will return to normal and that huge quantity of images isn’t going to manage itself.

What you need is a triage plan, to get yourself and your photo library to stable condition as quickly as possible. These steps are an even-simpler version of my plan for simplifying post-vacation memory keeping. This is the down & dirty 3-step way to get things done.

1. Assess the situation
Dump all of your photos into a single folder so you can get a handle on what you’re facing.

2. Skip the dead
Aggressively delete all of the out of focus and duplicate images, generally a third to half of what you have.

3. Use a band-aid
You don’t have time to fuss over your images. Back them up, share with family, call it good enough.

Serious photo enthusiasts might cringe at these steps, but they represent the easiest path from A to B for the everyday memory keeper. You can always edit later for a special album or scrapbook page. The critical path is getting images off of your camera, quickly de-cluttered and safely stored. When it comes to busy summer days (and nights), the rest can wait.

Where are your vacation photos?

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  1. Anna Aspnes

    I was just thinking about this last night and totally agree. The only thing I would add is get some of the written details down in note or audio format. You might not forget what they are how you felt about them will quickly wane.

  2. Stephanie Medley-Rath

    I agree. With my last trip, I ended up with about 1200 photos. I sorted in Lightroom and starred the photos I wanted to print. Those were the only photos I edited and messed with. I think I ended up batch editing about 200 of them. The rest are backed up but will most likely never be edited or printed.

  3. PattiP

    I have recently started adding my journaling to the metadata while I go through my photo workflow, thanks to Noelle Hyman writing about it on her blog. Some I batch journal, just to provide the basic details. All of this gets exported with the files when I back up online or to an EHD. I’m very happy with this process. It’s quick and easy.

  4. olongbourn

    I’d be somewhat cautious about deleting too many photos that aren’t perfect. Out of focus shots, as I am sure you know, make great background/ blend material. Simply remember that you don’t need to scrap EVERY photo, then the deletion of the dead step is less time-consuming.



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