Tag Archives: photo clutter

Photos: Your Treasured Possession or a Forgotten One?

According to the Save Your Photos website, “The Save Your Photos initiative is a public service outreach campaign developed by The Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) to teach individuals how they can preserve life’s irreplaceable photos, videos and documents, in case of unforeseen accident or disaster.” As a member of this organization and a Personal Photo Organizer, it is my goal to help everyone I can to protect their personal history.

Whether you make preserving your photos a priority in your life or not, the fact is that your photos are truly your most treasured possessions; a concept you most likely won’t fully grasp until you’ve lost them. Sadly, like most people, you probably procrastinate and get too busy to follow through on your best intentions to get your print photos scanned and all your photos safely backed up. We’ve all heard stories about people devastated at having lost their family photos from the last 100 years, the only picture of “Uncle Bob” that was in existence or all the photos on their mobile phone or computer. I just read a story yesterday about a woman who mourned the loss of her photos when her mobile phone exploded. (Thankfully, she wasn’t hurt.) Did she mention losing documents she had on the phone? Or contacts? Or music? No. She mentioned pictures because those are what mattered to her most–as she came to realize too late. She discovered this the hard way by not having a good backup plan in place.

Do you have your print photos scanned? If not, why not? What excuses have you made to yourself for not getting it done? If you were to lose all your photos tomorrow, would those excuses look extremely lame? I’m guessing yes.

Let’s take a closer look at the two most common excuses.

Not enough time. Sounds like maybe an attitude adjustment is needed. (And I say this with the kindest intentions.) We’re all busy. I get that. Our society is built on busy to the extreme. But you really can’t carve out an hour or two a week to purge duplicate or bad photos from your albums and boxes? Slimming down your photo collection is a lot easier than slimming down your waist line! Boom! There’s a better way to look at getting started on your collection.

Or perhaps you have people trying to steal your time to do things you don’t want to do. Now you just tell them you have a previous commitment and you can’t commit to them. You don’t have to tell them your commitment is to a dusty, old shoebox of century old photos or baby albums of your kids that you’ll be crying over for hours about how adorable they “used” to be.

Everyone can find an hour or two a week to get this project started. It’s committing to doing it that’s difficult. You only need apply the same attitude to this as you do to driving your kids to their “whatever” practice or your attending a weekly yoga class. So just resolve to give it a try this week. Commit to getting the photos out and spending just one hour purging. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done. And if you have kids that are old enough to help, make them help. It’s a great way to teach them about family responsibility (or payback for you carting them around everywhere) and family history at the same time.

Once you purge your photos, you can start organizing them by themes, people, events, years, etc. The way to look at this is to think of how you would organize them on your computer. Each category is essentially a “file folder” that can also have subfolders. For example, the top level could be by year “1935” or decade “1930s” and subcategories could be “Grandma and Grandpa Jones,” “Aunt Lucy” and “Mom.” Once they’re organized on a high level, they’re ready to be scanned.

If you commit to two hours a week, you could have a medium-sized collection done in a month or less. Of course, this depends on the type of collection you have and whether you concentrate on the matter at hand or you frequently wander off to the land of reminiscing. So keep the reminiscing to a minimum. Once you’re done, you can reminisce all you want.

And if these suggestions aren’t enough to move you to act, then maybe this will: If you lose your collection to a natural disaster, accident or environmental damage, then this “time” issue you’re struggling with will be instantly resolved for you. No photos, no need to make time to get them scanned and preserved. Boom! Problem solved. However, future generations that have little or no family pictures or history will lament the loss of getting to know, learn from and love those that came before them because no one took the time to preserve their family identity and heritage. Please don’t let this happen to your family.

Too expensive. Depending on the size of your collection, cost could be a concern for you. Scanning isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t super expensive either. I can tell you without reservation that the amount you spend on frivolous things in your life are far more expensive and less meaningful than the amount you’d spend preserving your family history and memories.

For example, a $4.00 Starbucks drink could buy you 10-20 scanned photos. A $20 dinner could get you 50-100 scanned photos.( The scan prices are based on 20 and 40 cents a scan and are for illustrative purposes only.) If you buy drinks, breakfast, lunch and/or dinner every day or several days a week, multiplied by two if your spouse does the same, then you could have your whole photo collection scanned “for free” by temporarily moving your eating out funds to the photo scanning project.

While the drinks or meals are satisfying and delicious in the moment, nothing lasting comes from them. But investing in getting your photos scanned and preserved is something that lasts a long time. Conceivably for a lifetime. Now that’s lasting!! That’s a legacy from which you and future generations can benefit.

You might use your extra income for other things instead of eating out such as clothes, shoes, hobbies, music collection, etc. Almost all of us can find extra cash for the things we want. It just sometimes involves making temporary sacrifices.

So the question becomes, “Do you want to be a part of creating something great that will impact you and future generations in amazing and positive ways, or simply enjoying living in the moment instead?” Only you can decide.

And if finances are beyond tight, you can always get small batches of your photos scanned at a time. You don’t have to do them all at once. The goal is for you to get them scanned and backed up as soon as possible.

Now it’s time to Take the Pledge to save your photos! Go to SaveYourPhotos.org and sign up. You’ll get daily tips and help throughout the month of September to motivate and educate you on your journey to saving your photos.

If you’ve found this article helpful, please share it with your friends.

If you’re interested in learning more about photo scanning and organizing, preservation products and ideas, visit Shoeboxphotoscans.com.

To catch up on the photo tips for September, visit my Shoebox Photo Scans Facebook page.

 

 

ORGANIZING YOUR DIGITAL VACATION PHOTOS SERIES–STEP 4: The Best Kept Secret to Organized Photos Revealed

Welcome back again for what is the final step in this series. It’s the one I’ve been most excited to share with you. It’s the step that brings everything together. It’s the step that creates the results you’ve hung in here for: To find what you want when you want it; to have an organized vacation folder, not chaos.

I want to apologize for the delay in getting this step out to you. I wanted to try a new, more visual way to convey the information to you. As it turns out, I’m not able to do it on this platform at the moment. So I’ll have to take you through the steps using screenshots instead.

Going back in time a bit, you created a folder structure in Step 1 for your vacation pictures. We’re going to build on that now with filenames. And if you thought you’d have to rename each file one by one or else keep them as they are, a meaningless set of letters and numbers, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. You’ll have your photos renamed faster than you ever thought possible. Dare I say, it will be a mind-blowing experience!

Renaming your files means you can:

  • Have your files super organized in short order
  • Find any file you want in a matter of seconds
  • Share photos with meaningful filenames for which your friends and family will love you
  • Create photo books, photo gifts and collages, as well as select your best photos for getting prints made quickly so you don’t miss a fantastic 2-day sale
  • Create and share online photo albums and slide shows with ease
  • And so much more

Continue reading ORGANIZING YOUR DIGITAL VACATION PHOTOS SERIES–STEP 4: The Best Kept Secret to Organized Photos Revealed

How do you use and manage your photos?

Your opinion matters.

Managing our digital photos, along with our printed photos, is getting increasingly difficult! The number of photos we take is staggering compared to even 5 years ago.

I’d like to hear from you about how you deal with your photos and what you’d like to do differently with them.

Please complete the survey, How We Use & Manage Our Photos. I value your opinion. It won’t take long to complete and it will help me better help others, maybe even you someday!!

Responses are completely anonymous so no worries there.

Please share this with your friends, family, blog and social media followers, etc., so they can put in their 2 cents worth. Have fun with it! And thanks for helping!

Organizing Your Digital Vacation Photos Series-Step 3: Master the Art of Eliminating Picture Clutter

Hello! Glad to see that you’re back and ready to continue with this next step.

To recap, let’s look at what you’ve accomplished so far:

  • Created your working folder structure that will help keep you organized for many years to come.
  • Gathered your devices, copied the photos into a temporary folder and backed it up so the originals are safely tucked away for the short term (in case of any boo boos).
  • You also deleted the photos from your device(s) so you have lots of space again to take more photos!

Wow, that’s a lot. Give yourself a hug for sticking with it. You’ve accomplished what most people don’t even attempt: creating a great foundation for organizing success. You’re on your way to eliminating stress and confusion so you can enjoy your photos the way you want. Kiss guilt and anxiety goodbye!!

So let’s get started. You’ll find this part of the series to be very freeing.

Copy Files to Your Vacation Folder

In Step 1, you set up a 2016 Vacation folder, or whatever else you named it. Mine is named “2016-03 Viking River Cruise.”

Simply COPY the files from your “temporary folder” into the Vacations folder. This is where you’ll do the rest of your organizing.

The “temporary folder,” as previously mentioned, will be there in case you accidentally delete some photos you want to get back (even though you could also retrieve them from the “Trash”). I just find it quicker and easier to grab a file from there versus getting it from the “Trash.” It is also great to have if you want or need to start over during the file renaming step of this series.

Now you’re ready to eliminate picture clutter.

What is Picture Clutter?

It’s what you end up with when you store every photo you’ve ever taken without being selective with them. Do you really need five pictures of a landscape that are nearly identical? A picture of your shoes? Thirty pictures of the same people at the same birthday party? Or a shot of something you have no idea what it is?  The answer is No! Continue reading Organizing Your Digital Vacation Photos Series-Step 3: Master the Art of Eliminating Picture Clutter