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Day 25: Photographs
Believe it or not, but in the last six months, the number of photos taken by the human race has actually doubled. This is an amazing and staggering statistic. With the advent of social media and digital photography, it’s time to rethink how we archive and store our photos. The problem of yesterday—how to archive paper photos in acid-free storage—is nearly extinct. Now the problem becomes how to label and sort through files of photographs in a way that makes them accessible so they can be shared and enjoyed.
Paper photographs can, and should be, arranged chronologically and eventually scanned into digital files. Not only will this help keep them organized, but it can prevent tragedy from destroying valued memories. Storing photos in archival quality photo boxes (sorted by year) can help ensure that your family will enjoy them and that they are accessible for scrapbooking and other projects.
Digital photography, on the other hand, can be a different beast to tame. One of the main tendencies is to hold on to too many files. While it can be hard to part with even one baby picture, hanging on to the not-so-great shots can make sorting and storing them a difficult chore.
Keep the photos that you deem good to excellent. Use an online service such as Picasa, Snapfish, iPhoto, Flickr or Photobucket. Organize the photos by year, month, and then event, such as “2014 May Jenny Birthday Party Cake.” It may seem like an arduous process, but adding a descriptor can really ensure that you will be able to easily find photos for later use. Commit to uploading photos once a month and the task will seem less daunting as you go. Many online services offer great printable gifts and beautiful keepsake photo books as well.
Objective: Organized files of both film and digital photography.
Assess the current situation: What is your current storage method? How can photos be organized? How can photos be digitally organized and archived?
1. Sort and declutter your printed photographs. Gather all your print photos and organize into piles by year. Toss any that aren’t very good, then sort the rest into stackable acid-free photo boxes.
2. Organize your digital photos. Using the following guidelines to sort and de-clutter:
- Upload any photos that are on your phone or camera
- Keep only the best photos
- Organize onto an online photo storage program
- Rename files in a logical manner by date and event
- Scan, name and archive film photographs, starting with the oldest first
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