6 Tips to Get a Handle on Your Digital Photo Collection

Family photos contain precious moments captured and memories you want to preserve for generations to come, not to lose in a digital black hole.

For some parents, photo organization might be one of those high priorities that has inevitably taken low priority. Between your phone or cameras, you may have thousands upon thousands of photos to organize.

It can seem daunting to say the least. Here are a few tips when it comes to managing photos, whether it’s physical prints or digital files.

Reduce digital photo clutter

Take a moment after taking any photos and do a quick edit, keep the best ones from the series and delete those that don’t pass muster. This is a huge timesaver in the long run. Also, when someone else takes the photos and they send them to you, save the ones you want to keep right away before they get buried or lost in your messages. 

Back it up (and back it up again)

It’s a good idea to back up your photos not only on a cloud-based service such as iCloud, Google Photos or Amazon Photos, but also on an external hard drive for additional insurance. Since photo files can be larger and take up more space, get one with a decent amount of storage. Many online cloud services have mobile apps to make uploading photos from your device a snap on the go.

Take note: An online service could be here one day, gone the next. You want to make sure the one you are using is reputable with solid security measures in place. If they ever do close up shop, they should provide some notice to retrieve your photos from the site. Still, have your photos backed up elsewhere to be safe. 

Sort it out

If you prefer to keep photos mainly digital, they can still be organized into folders and “albums” such as by year or event. Here’s a project idea — create a folder to drop pictures into each month for a family yearbook. You’ll then be able to easily make the photobook at the end of the year instead of sorting through a year’s worth of images all at once.

Print wisely

Some cloud-based storage options also offer printing services. Try different ones and sign up for email to receive discounts or free products where all you have to do is pay for shipping. Shutterfly, Snapfish and Nations Photo Lab have options for storing photos digitally and then printing them or creating projects such as keepsake albums and gifts. 

Costco has eliminated in-store photo services, but you can still order them online and have them shipped to your home. Services like Snapfish and Shutterfly also offer options to pick up at store locations such as CVS and Walgreens. 

Share the love

Shared digital albums are great ways to have friends and family members add their photos from an event that you will all be able to enjoy. A digital frame, like the Aura, includes an app and allows you to invite others to add photos to the frame. This also makes a great gift for sharing photos with grandparents. 

Set a goal

Plan out either a pocket of time each week or month to sit down and organize or work on photo projects while you have your Saturday morning coffee or say, to make one photo book a month. As long as we’re taking photos, which is all the time let’s be honest, this will be an ongoing effort!


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