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Digital Photo Organizing: Basic Steps

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iStock_000004556501XSmallYesterday I gave a presentation on photo organizing to a digital photography group at a senior center. One of our topics of discussion was how we take so many more photos nowadays with digital than we ever did with film. According to 1000memories, “Every 2 minutes today we snap as many photos as the whole of humanity took in the 1800s.”

The beauty of digital is that we can take as many pictures as we want, and delete what we don’t need. But the reality is that we rarely delete. And so, we have a staggering number of photos in files all over our computers and other storage, like cds and dvds, external hard drives, the cloud, and even memory cards (which are not a good way to store your photos!)

If you are one of those people who saves all of your digital photos, you may want to check out my post on how to decide which digital photos to keep to help you with this going forward. With those photos that are already on your computer, using basic steps, like the ABC’S of Photo Organizing, can help make the organizing process easier. It’s a simple system, easy to remember and you can apply these steps to both digital and printed photos. For the purpose of this post, I’ll discuss digital photos though. It’s important to note that the ABC’S are meant to be used in conjunction with your photo organizing software or file system.

Your A photos are your most precious photos and memories. These are the pictures you’d like to put in an album. They have stories (S) that go along with them. When you are trying to track your A photos in your digital software, you might want to consider tagging or rating them so you can find them quickly and easily.

Your B photos are photos that you would like to save, but they don’t necessarily have an active role in the stories you’d like to tell. You’ll continue to store them (and back them up) on your computer. Stay tuned for a post on backups soon!

Your C photos are destined for the digital garbage can. These are the photos that aren’t in focus, or heads are cut off, or just not-very-good pictures. They also may be that photo that you took too many of, like that beautiful sunset on the beach. If you took 50 photos of that sunset, hoping to get just the right colors, pick one or two and delete the rest! On the flip side of things, you may have a not-so-great photo that’s important to a story, and in this case, you’ll want to make an exception and hold on to it! Deleting photos may be difficult at first, but once you start doing it on a regular basis, I promise you it will make it much easier to keep up with your digital photo collection.

Does this sound like a system you could use to help you with your digital photos?