Living

How to get your photos organized

I am constantly taking photos of my daughter. Every time she has a cute outfit on (all the time) or dresses up (all the time) or does an activity (all the time) there I am, snapping away…with my phone.

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I am constantly taking photos of my daughter. Every time she has a cute outfit on (all the time) or dresses up (all the time) or does an activity (all the time) there I am, snapping away…with my phone.

Sometimes these photos sometimes get off my phone. Sometimes I email the photos from my phone to her father, so he can enjoy how adorable she is. Likewise, he sends me photos of her from his iPad – photos that I love, but that stay on my computer.

Thank goodness for my parents who take pictures of her – old school – with a camera and then actually go and get them printed at Shoppers Drug Mart, or wherever one goes nowadays to print off photos. I actually miss the days of those throw-away camera, because at least with those I would get the  pictures printed (and sometimes even put them into photo albums!).

I did use my digital camera to take photos of my daughter – hundreds of them – but unfortunately I lost that digital camera on a beach; who knows what cute pictures I had over two years of photo taking that I will now never get back.

I talked to a photo expert/mother who is very organized, and she gave me some tips about how to take photos from your phone or iPad to make sure you always have pictures of your children. As of now, I have dozens and dozens of photos of my daughter in my email inbox and on my phone, but is that good enough? I do feel bad that I don’t organize and save these photos. I mean, what good is taking them if I can never find them?

Here are some tips on getting your photos organized and making sure you have them for years to come.

1. Realize it’s faster and easier than you think: There are tons of programs out there for managing images, and they aren’t nearly as complicated as most people think. Try simple ones like iPhoto. For most of these programs, all you have to do is plug your phone or digital camera into the computer using a USB connection, and the program gives you immediate prompts with very easy steps. Getting over the idea that it’s a lot of work or pain to upload and organize is the first step.

2. Set up online photo sharing: Picasa is a great program used to share images; simply upload them and then create albums that you can email to your family and friends. Knowing you can share an entire album instead of adding attachments one by one is good incentive to get those photos off your phone and into the inboxes of your loved ones.

3. Give yourself a limit: If you’re constantly taking photos of your own children, tell yourself that every Friday you’ll upload whatever you took that week. Your phone is likely running slowly with all those pictures on them, so put them all on your computer and then delete the majority off your phone.

4. Choose a system for organizing: Maybe you want to sort photos by event, maybe by date. Create a folder on your computer and drag and drop the photos accordingly. When things are a mess, you don’t want to even bother getting them from phone to computer; but when there is an organized system, that weekly upload becomes a lot less daunting.

5. Printing photos online is really easy: Companies like Costco or Walmart have incredibly simple online servers – you follow a few easy steps and they can have your photos ready within a day. They are inexpensive and offer a ton of options: size, number of prints, etc. You can even have them create a CD for you, which helps with the archiving process.

6. Upload pics or lose them forever: The biggest incentive for uploading your photos should be the idea that your phone could be stolen or lost so easily. If you haven’t uploaded and organized your pictures in some way, you’ll have lost them forever. It’s the sample principle as backing up your word documents – the more places you save them, the better.

7. Buy pretty frames and albums: Next time you’re pass a store with really cute frames or photo albums, stop in and buy a few. This way you’re more likely to make the effort to get those cherished photos off your phone and onto your coffee table. Not to mention, photos make great gifts – all the more reason to make hard copies. Remember, no one likes to sit at a small computer screen, let alone a cell phone, to view images – we all grew up with sitting on the couch flipping through old family albums, so keep that tradition alive and get those photos printed.

I’m going to look up these programs and start organizing. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. What about you? Do you print off photos or are you like me? Share!

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