The ABC’s of Organizing Your Photos
Feb 2016

The ABC’s of Organizing Your Photos

Happy Valentine’s Day. Last time I talked about your “Photographic Footprint” and gathering your photos all together into one core file structure.  Most often once this is completed, my clients are amazed at the sheer volume of photos they have in their possession.  According to the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO), there are an estimated 1.7 trillion printed photos stored in albums and shoe boxes. These photos represent family’s legacy- milestone events like wedding, births, family vacations. The numbers of digital photos is also incredible.  “Every 2 minutes today, we snap as many photos as the whole of humanity took in the 1800’s”-

When I went through this process myself, I was shocked to discover that I had 117,000 digital photos in my collection. Honestly, who would ever “scroll” through 117,000 photos?  The process of making sense of your photo collection can be overwhelming. One thing I discovered was that I had many duplicates of photos.  It can easily happen, and while having duplicates can serve as a “backup” copy, it is only valuable if the backup is stored in a different location.

Once you have identified and removed your duplicates, you can begin the process of sorting through your photos.

“Photo Organizers use a simple acronym called “The ABC’s” to help their clients sort their printed or digital photos. Your ‘A’ photos are the most important photos that belong in an album.

‘B’ photos are photos that support the story that you want to keep, but don’t necessarily belong in an album. ‘C’ stands for can! (Yes, you CAN throw out photos!) Toss or delete doubles, blurry and excessive landscape photos. How many photos of that sunset do you really need? Finally ‘S’ is for story. Identify and keep any photos that support a story. For example, a picture of a towering tree in the backyard that little Jimmy planted with Grandpa back in 1970.”  -APPO

TIP: As you work, stay focused on sorting your photos as quickly and as objectively as possible. This is just your first run through, so try not to spend a lot of time reminiscing.

So, my personal photo collection is still a work in progress, but I have managed to reduce it to about 38,000. And equally important, it is triple backed up so that the work I continue to make on managing my Photographic Footprint is safe and secure. Next time, we will talk about the importance of backing up your photos.


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