Not everyone who owns a camera is a serious hobbyist or professional. For those who just want to take photos and share, print and save them for the future, here are some things you can do to keep your photo collection a little more organised.
Duplicates, bad images and other problems
Yes, it’s overwhelming, but one of the best ways to improve your image library organization is to go through it. Remove the duplicates and images that are unusable (even as textures or for post-processing). Be ruthless and just delete anything that you know will end up not being shared on social media or printed.
Automatically upload your photos to Flickr
Of from Flickr photo tools you can easily have all your photos automatically backed up/stored in one place. For $60/year for a pro plan, you get unlimited storage. That’s not a bad deal, especially if you (like most of us) have tens of thousands of photos.
Try Dropbox instead of photo management apps
Maybe you’re not the type of photographer who edits your photos. Online storage options like Dropbox could be the perfect solution for you. The personal version costs $10/month and you get 2 GB of cloud storage. This way you can access your image files (and more) anywhere on your phone, tablet or computer. This can also be set to save and sync your files automatically.
Use Google Photos to organize your images
Google Photos is another option that offers you image editing tools that you can use in addition to storage. You can automatically back up photos to Google Photos, which will give you 15 GB of free storage from June 1, 2021. One of the things I like about Google Photos is the search feature.
Save with iCloud Photos
If you are an Apple user, this could be a good solution for you. Optimizing Mac storage saves all your full-resolution photos and videos to iCloud in their original format. Versions that save storage space are kept on your Mac when space is needed. You can optimize storage on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch so you have access to all your photos. You get 5 GB of free storage and have the option to pay for a subscription of up to 2 TB.
Organize your family photo archives
This is an entire article in itself and can be so overwhelming if you have several generations of photographers in your family. It’s not easy to sift through slides, negatives, and prints that are in multiple locations and lots and lots of boxes.
It can be expensive, but consider taking your older libraries to someone who will scan and digitize them for you. Then it might be easier to go through and add the relevant information, like who those people in that photo are. Then organize by families and/or years.
Put all your photos in one place
We are all guilty of having pictures everywhere. They are everywhere in our emails, on our devices and on the web. If you don’t use an image asset management system, create at least one place to store your photos. There are apps that help you find all lost, deleted or hidden pictures on your devices — Lost photos is an app (Apple, does not work with Outlook or Hotmail) and Photo Recovery (Android, mixed reviews) is another. It helps you find photos you might miss.
Use a folder and file name structure that makes sense
If you really want to be and stay organized, set up a system and stick to it. Organizing by year, month and date is a good starting point. You may be better at remembering events and places, so start with a folder for every year and month under that year. You can then name folders under years/months based on holidays, places, or events such as someone’s birthday or anniversary.
We all love the ease and convenience of digital images, but the number of images can quickly get out of hand. If you’re just getting started with this project, spend some time each day removing bad images, printing the keepers, and making sure you back them up. By working on this every day, you will have your photo collection under control in no time. Another important tip: Backup, backup, backup!