Monday, April 6, 2009

How do YOU organize your digital photos?

I'm putting out a call to all my blogging and picture-taking friends (and friends of friends):

How do you organize your digital photos? I've been thinking about this for some time now, and decided I should find a better a system while I have only a few thousand photos (almost 5,000) instead of a million. :)

Currently, my photos are basically just organized chronologically, with a folder for each month. But, I don't remember what exciting events happen each month, or even in which month an exciting event happened. We have a Mac, so I use iPhoto (I used Picasa on our old PC, which I also really liked). iPhoto (are you supposed to capitalize the "i" if it's at the beginning of a sentence? Look how Apple has affected our grammar...) automatically creates "events," which can be helpful in some cases. For example, I could have an event titled "Genna's birthday" or "Day at the zoo," which is clearly more descriptive than "May 2007."

But what about random, everyday pictures that are not part of an event? I don't want to create a new event (or folder) every time Genna gets a new outfit or I make a beautiful meal. I can also create labels or keywords for the photos which are searchable, but I guess I haven't yet figured out an efficient way without creating too many labels.

Do you have a separate folder for each person? Do you use labels, and what categories do you use? ("Family" or "Mom" and "Dad," etc.) How do you find the best photos? And what about pictures with more than one person in them? What program do you use?

So, what do you do? Maybe you just throw all your photos into "My Pictures" and never look at them again. If so, perhaps you will get an idea or two from some other comments. :) Please share your tips (Mac and PC alike) for organizing your digital photos. I can't wait to hear all your brilliant ideas.

P.S. Should we have a contest? Maybe the person with the most digital photos should win something! I'll think about some kind of awesome prize, and get back to you. Thanks for sharing!


Cathie said...

I don't take photos. Problem solved!

No really, I don't take photos very often, so when I do, I can easily theme them, e.g., London 2004, Talent Show, etc. And for those random, non-themed shots...they're grouped by time. So basically, I do what you do, but on a much smaller scale. If I have to dig around to find something, it becomes a nice trip down memory lane.

I am so unhelpful. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

I thought I had some nifty answer for you, but you clearly have more photos than I do. I have a folder for the year and then name the events and put them in chronological order within that folder (screw the month thing!), but I have a max of 150 photos per year.

Holly said...

I have 8 GB of pictures. I'm pretty sure that's a lot. I will try and get more specific later...

lovefamilymemories said...

Check out "Memory Manager." It is from Creative Memories. Go to "digital" at the bottom of and then "webinars" and it is a step by step "how to" and I think you will like it.

Lin said...

i have iphoto as well and TONS of pictures as you can probably guess by the amount i post on my blog and facebook. haha.

i upload the photos into iphoto. if there are enough to classify as an event (such as pics from a birthday party, outing or family gathering) then i label that event accordingly and leave those how they are.

if they are random photos of one person in particular (a picture of something funny Bug did or of my niece in a pretty dress) I add them to an event labeled for that person. that's a leftover habit from my pc days, but it works well for those photos that just don't seem to belong anywhere and it makes more sense than have an event with one or two pictures in it.

i've recently started sorting photos by month as well. so if nothing of particular interest happened during February but I took photos in the snow or at the zoo or whatever, I just have a February 2009 event. Any special event that happens in addition to that during Feb gets it's own event (like a birthday or something)

that all seems like a lot of sorting, mostly i just upload my photos as i take them and try to go through and organize them once a month or so. it doesn't take too much time and i can find my photos pretty quickly.

i also use the "album" folders on the sidebar of iphoto for any special project i'm working on. for example, i make my mom a calendar using photos of her grandkids every year for christmas. through out the year, i put my favorite photos of the kids in an album (not an event) labeled "moms calendar" so when Nov. comes around I only have to search through that album and not hundreds of photos in several different events to find the ones i want to use.

Also, back up your photos on an external hard drive or thumb drives. cds can burn and rot and can also pile up and be cumbersome to store.

hopefully all of that helps and is not confusing or dumb. haha.