The holidays are behind us. I’m sure there are still a few hold-outs, but most of us have returned our homes to their pre-holiday décor. Now that all the hustle and bustle had died down, are you feeling a little bit of a let-down? Without all the shopping, wrapping, cooking, parties, holiday travels and all the rest of the holiday festivities to keep us busy, what are we supposed to do with our time, even after we have resumed our pre-holiday work and family schedules? Here’s a thought – what about all those great photos you took?
Every year, we accumulate hundreds (maybe thousands?) of photos commemorating special events in our lives. Some of the most interesting are probably those taken during our travels. The question remains, what do we do with them after we return home? In years past, we might have taken the film (yes, I’m dating myself) or photo files to Walgreens or Walmart and printed them all out. Some of us would sort through them, pull out the best ones and maybe add them to a photo album for later viewing, but let’s be honest. Most of us would show them to a few friends and family and enjoy them for a short time, but they would likely end up in a shoebox stored on a shelf in the back of our closet. (How many of those shoeboxes do you have in your closet?) Today, we have so many more options for storing, sharing, and viewing our photos.
While we still have the option of printing out hard copies of our photos, most of us do prefer to keep our photos in digital form. This allows us the ability to view them whenever we wish, especially if we use online storage options like iPhoto, Flickr, Google Photos, Photobucket, and others like this. Many of these sites not only allow us to store and share our photos, but also offer the ability to edit photos and compile them into albums. Some even offer the option to create scrapbook-like photo albums we can give as gifts, like Shutterfly and Snapfish, just to name a couple of sites.
Even with ways to store our photos digitally, we can still end up with literally thousands of photos and no way to find the ones we might want to view at any given time. (Remember digging through all those shoeboxes?) So, here are some helpful tips for organizing your photos online:
- Use “albums” – create a new “album” for each set of photos you upload to your photo storage site. Give it a unique name, preferably one you will recognize later, and include the date of the event.
- Give your photos a new “name” – This may take a bit of time, but you will thank me later. When you upload your photos, you will probably want to view them to see if any need to be edited, or even deleted (that photo of your thumb or foot?). As you view them, change the digital name it was given to something more descriptive, so you will immediately recognize it later when you decide to share it online.
- Don’t keep ALL of the photos you took – I know you are thinking, “Wait! What? You want me to get rid of photos I just took?” I know this sounds crazy, but stay with me. You probably took multiple photos of the same thing. This is a good thing, because it gives you the option to keep the perfect shot and delete the not-so-perfect attempts.
- Don’t be afraid to edit your photos – Some of your shots may not be perfect, but do have parts of them that contain images you want to keep. Thank goodness for the “crop” tool available on most photo storage sites. Crop away, save the new image, and DELETE the original (remember the “not-so-perfect” purge step in the last tip?).
Now that you have some helpful tools for managing all those great photos you took over the busy holiday season, you have the perfect way to help you transition into the new year. It’s a great way to fill time and create a new “habit” for photos you will take in the upcoming year, especially during family trips you want to take.
We can help you plan those family trips so you will have plenty of opportunity to create new digital photo albums with all your new memories. Give us a call and “Happy Snapping!”
Liz and Mike Kohler
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