How to Organize Your Photos: Tips from a Professional Photo Organizer

I am not sure if it is because spring is in the air or because my house is a disaster zone (yes I admit it), but I am finding myself wanting to completely clean out my house and purge our belongings, that includes getting organized digitally and a very big part of that includes organizing my personal and professional photos.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful local business women at a networking event and one of these ladies was Kristi of Memory Momentum. I think her business is unique, interesting and can be very useful to most people out there. And what perfect timing to have Kristi share a guest blog post about organizing your digital and printed images.

I don’t know about you, but if anyone can help get me organized, it is Kristi. She shares some great tips below. Her contact information is below!! Happy Spring Cleaning.

Preserve your family photos? I SAY YES!

 “I won’t take a single picture in my entire life!”…said no one in the 21st century!! I challenge you to find one person in your life that doesn’t value at least one picture. I guarantee that even that one friend, the one who hates to be photographed and always insists on being the cameraman, will have some special photos tucked away for a rainy day. Whether you’re the person who can’t imagine walking around without your camera hanging around your neck or the person who would rather live in the moment instead of through a camera lens, I’m sure you can close your eyes and visualize a special moment caught on film.

So why are photos so important to us? Throughout history people have used storytelling as a way to document their lives for generations to come, as well as keeping an ongoing record of family members, traditions and history. Knowing where and who we came from gives us a sense of belonging. Taking photos allows us to capture the ENTIRE story and gives us a way to relive and share relationships and experiences we’ve had with others.

Close your eyes and think about your most precious photo memory. Maybe it’s the first moment you saw your newborn baby, the look on your daddy’s face when you mastered riding your bike without the training wheels, or the way your grandmother had cake on her face at her 80th birthday party. Can you put yourself back in that exact moment? If you lost that photo would you remember all those little details and feelings as the years pass by? Aaron Siskind once said, “photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What (we) have caught on film is captured forever…it remembers little things, long after (we) have forgotten everything”

Should we preserve our photos? I say, YES! Ok, ok… I’m sure you’re thinking who the heck are you, and why should I listen? My name is Kristi Green and I have started my own photo organizing business called Memory Momentum. I’ve made it my business to safe guard, organize, and celebrate family memory libraries. I ensure that all of your memories are backed up and stored correctly so they can be found later and displayed with love. No more pictures lost in attics, under beds or to corrupted EHD’s!

I understand how important it is to protect the memories you love. One day I received a phone call from my sister hysterically sobbing on the other end of the line. She could barely talk and I panicked, afraid something horrible had happened. Eventually she was able to say that her computer had crashed and all of her photos were gone. The snapshots of her newborns first days at home, cuddling his big sister in his new crib, and meeting the family fur babies were all irretrievable.

If these memories are so special to us, why don’t we take care of them? Most of us don’t take the time to safe guard our family’s photos or become overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

Here are a few tips that can get you started:

  • No matter how unorganized your printed or digital photos are, GET THEM BACKED UP! (yes I’m yelling at you) Make sure your computer and smart phones are backed up using a reliable system. Make sure your most precious printed photos are digitized AND stored in a photo safe, acid and PVC free box. You can’t enjoy those photos if they are lost, mess or not!
  • Set aside some time in your busy schedule to start managing your photos on a monthly basis. If you don’t schedule it on your calendar you most likely will NOT do it! Make it a priority, just like getting your hair cut or going to the gym.
  • Empty your camera card or your phones camera roll once a month.
  • Delete the photos you DO NOT WANT as you take them or once you download them off your camera card or phone.
  • Get your family involved! This decreases your work load and allows your family to have fun reliving precious moments. I know my kids love looking at pictures of themselves ; )
  • Maintain your collection in short, manageable time slots. This prevents you from becoming overwhelmed and giving up. Set your egg timer for 30 minutes, you might as well use it for something!
  • Have at least 3 copies of your digital collection, including one off site.
  • Whether the photo is a print or a digital copy you need to document the who, what and where. We’ve all come across a collection of photos from our past that features now unfamiliar faces.
  • Get stuck….seek help from a photo organizer!

It sounds like a lot of work, but it is SO worth it! Being organized allows you to get right to the FUN stuff. Enjoying a special moment hung on the wall, sharing a slide show at a retirement party, flipping through a photo book of your family’s latest vacation, or watching your digitized 35 mm films during family movie night. You can’t do ANY of this if your memories are lost or gone.

Fast forward and imagine two different scenarios:

In the first scenario you’re a healthy, happy 100 year old person. You have lived a very full and happy life; you were blessed with a big beautiful family. You took the time to manage and safeguard your family’s legacy through photos, either by yourself or with the help of a photo organizer. You are able to sit and reminisce with a huge smile on your face, and your great grandchildren get to relive your life and experiences. How amazing!

In the second scenario you’re a healthy, happy 100 year old person. You have lived a very full and happy life; you were blessed with a big beautiful family. As you sit and reminisce you’re trying to remember who was at your 40th birthday party. You remember it was quite the affair, but: did your brother fly in from Miami? Was your cake pink or blue? Maybe you want to tell your great granddaughter what your very first car looked like, but you can’t remember the interior design. On your best friend’s birthday you want to imagine how it was when you were both young, and remember the way that you used to laugh, but you can’t quite piece together what she looked like.

I believe a collection of family photos is the heart and soul of a family’s legacy, and is it important to preserve. Preserve your family photos? I SAY YES!

Kristi Green

Memory Momentum- Photo Organizer

www.memorymomentum.ca

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