Friday, May 10, 2013

Organizing and Displaying Photos

When I was younger and cooler, I vowed to never be one of those "crafty scrapbooking moms". Well, I'm older and wiser now, and I have no problem admitting that I'm crafty. There's this thing called digital scrapbooking that makes it so much easier (and cooler). And I'll admit, I love to make a card or two.
Having kids changes a person in soooo many ways.

'nuf said
Speaking of kids, they grow so fast I can hardly keep track of it, even with pictures! Oh but I try! And I have to take 5 to 10 shots of that cute face/outfit/mess to make sure I get a good one. So how do you keep track of it all? Well, I don't know how YOU do it, (please feel free to share in the comments) but here's what I do.

I collect pictures. LOTS of pictures. So many pictures I don't think we'll ever look at them all again. But I can't bring myself to delete them, so I organize them!

Here's the quick visual version of what I do:



On my desktop I make a folder of the current year (Example: 2013 Photos)

In that folder I have 12 folders, one for each month, each labeled with the two digit number and month name to keep them in chronological order. (Example: 01 January, 02 February, 11 November, 12 December)

Throughout the month (ok after a couple months when I realize it's time to save them before they get deleted by little fingers) I transfer all the pictures from my phone, my husbands phone, emails (actually, emails I transfer immediately so they don't get lost in my mess of an inbox), anyway, ANYWHERE you have pictures, transfer them into the appropriate month. Sometimes I have also put video in each month, but sometimes I take a LOT of video and would rather have it in a separate folder. Maybe I should do monthly video folders like I do for photos. hmm...

I usually save all of this to at least 3 DVD's per year (I know, I'm already outdated in this, I need a hard drive). The first is all the pictures from January to June (ish. If there isn't enough room on the DVD, I don't get all anal-retentive about how I split up the year.) The second is July to December photos and the third is all the video. Again, if I have more video than will possibly fit onto one DVD, I split it by month: January to June video and July to December video. That way, when I'm doing scrapbooks, calendars, whatever, I can look back month to month and have a nicely organized system to find the photos I want.

And without paper, it could not have happened...
Unless, you had a camera. 
THEN, so they don't just all sit there electronically, I wait until I get a "FREE 101 prints" from Shutterfly. They send these bonuses out several times a year, usually right after a holiday, and you have 3 or so days to use them. Well, if you have your photos in order, you can start ordering from the beginning of the year to the end until you have them all. (Hey, if you're not cheap like me, go ahead and just pay to get them all printed. It's not that expensive.)

All of these prints go into a regular old photo album (admit it people, that's a SCRAPBOOK). If I wanted to I could stop there, but I like to have a little book to display. I have to admit, the books get looked at ALL the time, and the albums sit and collect dust. Maybe the albums are daunting, and the nice little books don't seem like that much of a commitment.

Anyway, so far I have a baby book and a book per year for each kid. (Ok, Sophie's isn't started done yet, but it's in the planning stages. I still have a few months before she's a year old! But with this system I can easily stay on top of it!) I also do one book per year for the whole family. Actually, because I've only been doing this for a few years, I have a couple books that span a couple years when we were dating/first married/didn't take as many pictures. Once we had kids, we took a BILLION more photos.
(That might, MIGHT, be a little exaggeration. A little.)

You can organize the memories however you want. Maybe for a big vacation do a separate book. Maybe do a separate book of special people (cousins, grandparents, etc.) Anyway, books are the way to go to actually see your photos. You don't have to spend a lot of time to get it all cutesy either. I like a lot of photos on the page, and not many scrapbooky things (embellishments, stamps, etc.). There are some cute pages out there though, and templates are the quick way to go with that!

I have to be completely honest and say that this is MUCH EASIER to do than to explain. I have scrapbooks from the last 7 years, plus baby books, yearly kid books, and I've only been doing this for, I don't know, 2 years? 3 years? The point is, I'm up to date people, and that feels GOOD!

I'll post last years book tomorrow. Get excited.