Let me begin this by saying oy vey! I have a backlog of digital photos oh, about five years long, just sitting there, taking up all of the memory in my computer. I very rarely print photos, and aside from a few halfhearted attempts at sorting them into online albums, and the few books I have made to give family members, I have done nothing with them. And that’s sad! If you are in the same boat, read on — and if you are super organized about your photos, please just skip to the Comments section and give me some advice!
The thing is, I remember the time before owning a digital camera, when I would actually print all of my photos, physically sort through them, and put the good ones in albums. I loved getting to relive the moments of my life through the photographs, and reminisce with my family about big trips, and smaller, everyday moments. Without those printed photos, it’s just not the same. I want to change that, so I’ve been doing some research and I think I’ve found some good resources and ideas, which I will share here … you know, in case I am not the only one in the universe to avoid organizing and printing my photos.
First, I must point you to A Beautiful Mess, which you’ve probably already heard of, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock, this is a blog run by two delightful and supremely talented sisters named Elsie and Emma. I have featured some of their photos (of photos) in this post to hopefully inspire and motivate my self (and perhaps you, too?) to actually get off my butt and do something about my photo situation.
As an organized person, the thought of a jumble of different types of albums cluttering up my shelves makes me shudder a little (laugh if you want, but it’s true), so I think it’s important for me to settle on a single type and size of book that will work for me. Now, I could just order ready made books online from iphoto or blurb, but honestly, even those just don’t have quite the same appeal as printed photos in an album. Do you know what I mean? They are nice, very nice even, but not quite as personal.
Amanda Soule, aka Soule Mama, wrote a wonderfully detailed post a while back about her system for organizing her digital photos, and then printing them and putting them in albums, which I highly recommend reading if you are looking for a system of your own. Basically, she sits down once a month to sort through the images she has taken that month and stored on an external hard drive, deletes bad shots, and tags and rates the ones she will keep using Lightroom. The rating system is genius: two stars means print! How easy is that? Then she uses an online printing service to print that month’s “best of” and puts them into identical albums.
Amanda, Elsie, and Emma all use mostly photos in their scrapbooks, which I love. A note here and there is a lovely touch, and I could even see using some beautiful scrapbooking paper or cute labels from time to time, but I would be wary of anything too elaborate … then I would probably just get overwhelmed and give up!
So, now it’s your turn: Do you print your photos? Make photo books? Scrap albums? What’s your method for sorting and organizing digital photos, or are you a total and complete mess in this department, like me? Spill the beans!
(all images: A Beautiful Mess)