I have a nice enough digital camera, and I love to take pictures. I’m not especially good at it, but what I take is meets our needs, and I’m always learning something, so I keep doing it.
One thing I’ve never come close to mastering is what to do with the digital pictures I take.
I’ve tried most every system I can think of, but I haven’t been able to sustain any routine with them. From storing them to viewing and printing them, I have a bit of Digital Photo Paralysis, I want to make sure I do “just the right thing”, but sometimes I can’t decide what that is, so I don’t do anything.
Saving our digital pictures has been a bit of a challenge. I always download them to the computer (Confession: our computer isn’t backed up, so I need a plan quickly. Don’t judge.), and sometimes I even sort those files into years and months, but not always. I’ve always managed to rescue pictures from the hard drive if we have a computer croak, so I have some on external drives.
Viewing and enjoying our digital pictures has been a challenge, too.
For a while, I kept a photo blog, determined to document everything promptly and in order. Predictably, that started taking up a lot of room, and it fell by the wayside. Additionally, that method never really caught on with my parents who just wanted to see pictures of the grand kids.
I’ve had a Flickr account since it became popular years ago, but I mostly use it for blog-related photos rather than our entire collection because I’m not wild about the idea of depending on a 3rd party to store them. If I have pictures from an event that I need to share with other people, I upload them to a photo sharing site, but even then I haven’t really settled on one with any regularity.
So, we have many years of digital photos that we actually don’t look at all that often, mainly because I’m not sure of “just the right way” I want to do it.
Don’t even start me on printing digital photos. We usually just don’t do it, and I know that’s terrible, but it’s true. Our 3rd child is the only one who was born during the digital photo age, so there’s very few prints of him, and he’s old enough to notice, now. That’s going to be a problem for graduation someday when he needs baby pictures for the yearbook, huh?
I’m ready to try to turn over a new leaf, though, so tell me about your digital photos:
1. How do you store your digital photos? Computer hard drive? External drive? Third-party site?
2. How do you organize them? By year and month? By event?
3. How do you share digital photos with other people? Do you send specific photos, or do you put them all on one site that anyone can view if they wish?
4. Do you print your digital photos? What do you do with the prints? Scrapbook? Traditional photo albums?
Also, if I were to turn over this new leaf, should I try to go back and organize/upload/print photos from the beginning, or should I just start today and move forward?
My kids are getting older, and I want to make sure we have photo memories for them, but I hate that they have to fish around the computer to find them, so I’m determined to get our digital pictures organized and keep up with it!