Friday, June 12, 2015

Photo Organization, Finally!

Ahhh, finally a quiet moment, in between the {good} chaos of travel and Summer fun, to get a word out on Photo Organization.

I think it goes without saying that there are many, many ways to get your photographs organized and displayed.  I am going to share one of several ways that {semi} works for me.  This is a process ~ one that you have to keep up with regularly {if you're anything like me, and take upwards of hundreds of photos a month}.  And let me add, this is what I use for my personal photographs.  And full disclosure: sometimes I'm a big slacker :/

Okay, here we go.

Back in the day, when I was a young mama of two little sugarplums, I had quite a collection of scrapbooking supplies.  I had the albums, the coordinating papers, the stickers.  Oh how I loved the stickers.  And when hubs would go hunting, or even to work, I would break out the HUGE containers, and set to work creating these memory-filled books for my daughters.

And then . . . baby number 3 came along.  And I was in the hospital for awhile.  And she was a preemie.  And she needed a lot of care.  And this mama just didn't have time for all of that anymore.  By the time I'd drag all of the scrapbooking supplies out, and rummage through, it seemed like it was time to pack it all away again.  I needed a better way.

So I  began making Photo Books.
For the last six years I have made each of my girls a photo book to be given on their birthdays.
These books highlight them!  Their year.

I don't spend a fortune.  I often use Shutterfly.
But my girls don't mind.  In fact, they rather love them.

Here's how I do:

First, I keep a ridiculous number of folders on my computer: 
 I upload photos regularly {read: at LEAST once a week, sometimes 3-4 times per week}. It's so much easier when you keep on top of this.
At first, these photos are just in dated folders. 
Then I cut and/or copy certain photos and move them to more specific folders. 
For example, any special photos that I've taken of Sierra this week, get copied and placed into a folder that reads: Sierra's Photo Book 2015.

When we are getting close to one of the girls' birthdays {6 weeks prior, I'd say}, I upload their Photo Book folder to Shutterfly:


And then I set to work making their book. {I use their 8x8 hardcover book}.
They are super easy to customize.
 Once I've ordered, it typically takes 7-10 days to receive, so I almost always order several weeks before their birthday.
 A portion of our collection:

The idea is that my girls will have a collection of their own memories to take with them when they leave {do.not.start.crying.elizabethmary!}  Kam and Tay have books for every year they've been alive.  I didn't start the photo books until Kam was born, so Sierra and Makenna are missing a few years, but they *DO* have their fancy shmancy scrapbooks ;)

Now, where are the family books that I get to keep, you ask . . .
Yeah.  I forgot that part, and am paying the price for it now, as I sort through years upon years of photos.  BUT.  My plan is to start now, and work backward.  And every year, either for Christmas, or my birthday, I will order a family book for me :) 

It's a pretty simple and cost effective way to get your photos organized, printed, and all together for your family to enjoy.  And it's convenient to have all of those photos backed up to Shutterfly {or Snapfish or whatever other lab/site you choose}.  DO remember to back up your files, friends.  I have my folders on my computer, I've backed them up to flash drives, AND an external hard drive.  You don't want to lose your precious memories!

And whatever method you choose, print those photos.
It's important to have those memories in print to share for generations to come!

Please, I need all the help I can get, if you have tips for organizing your memories, do share!!!
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Sarah Shumate said...

I really love how organized you are with this. I only just a couple years ago got a good electronic filing system going for my photos. Before, they were just saved willy nilly in random folders. Now I've got a folder for each year and everything in that year placed chronologically inside that folder and named for what it was so that it's easy to find a certain photos when I'm looking for it. But as far as tangible, printed photos, I barely have a thing. I'd love to have something like this to give Lexie when she leaves. (Let's not talk about that anymore!!) My mom gave me giant scrapbooks when I graduated college of my life, birth to high school graduation. It was really sweet. I think she liked the stickers, too. :)

Emmy said...

That is such a great idea! I have made year books before, but I love the idea of having a book for each kid. I am so behind on my pictures, really need to get on it.


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