As we begin a new year many people will make New Year’s resolutions. Some will resolve to lose weight or get fit. Some will resolve to make more money or spend more time with family. I’d like to offer you 13 things you can do to get your photos and the stories they tell organized, archived, and in a state that you can enjoy and share them this year.
1. Let’s start with taking photos. There is a great, and very ambitious, goal of taking a photo a day for the entire year. The benefits are that you get to know your camera and have the chance to capture the world around you like never before. The down side is that it is a marathon and sometimes you don’t make it to the finish line of December 31st. Others try a photo a week. It’s less ambitious, but you need to remember to take the picture each week! Regardless of how often you are taking photos, resolve to take pictures of your life and loved ones this year!
2. Get to know your camera! If you are going to take photos, it helps to know and understand the camera that you are using. I know it can be boring, but read the manual! You might even find that you like manual mode and get some great pictures that you haven’t been able to capture before.
3. Setup your backup systems! Yes I mean systems plural! It’s not if, but when will your hard drive crash. You don’t want to lose your digital images and files. Having on site and off site backups is important after the year we had with fires, floods, and hurricanes destroying so many people’s photos, both printed and digital.
4. Clear your camera card, cell phone, tablet, and any other device you use to take photos on a regular basis! Move the photos to one central place on your computer and then you’re ready for resolution #5!
5. Sort, tag and delete your photos when you load them onto your computer! If it’s blurry, a finger in the way, or otherwise a bad photo, delete it! Then look at the good images and tag them by person, event, place, or any other tag that you find helpful.
6. Add the story if you can. Writing a short narrative about the people and action the photo has captured while it’s fresh will make it so much easier when you are trying to remember the who, what, why, etc. years later. I really love Memory Manager by Creative Memories for this since you can search the ‘about’ field as well as all the other fields associated with the image file to find that special photo from years ago.
7. Resolve to make a photo album or book this year! It can be as simple as the 10 best photos from each month that you slide into an album and enjoy as it grows throughout the year. If you take the 365 day photo challenge, make pages of your photos week by week or month by month to print at the end of the year.
8. Use photos as part of the gifts you give this year. People respond to gifts that have photos in them, on them, etc. – especially if they are in the photos with you! There is something special that bonds people together through photos.
9. Put some photos on your walls! Having photos of your family up where everyone can see them day to day lets your family know they are loved and connected to each other. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but a wall of photos can be a fun way to decorate your home and have a profound impact on your family.
10. Share your pictures with friends and family. Just be sure to check out the privacy statements and terms of service if you are sharing online! Remember if you put it on FaceBook, the world can see it and you don’t have any control! This is why I like Linea, it’s private and only the people I invite can see the photos.
11. Take the time or spend the money to digitize your heritage! Take those photos, slides, home movies or videos from parents, grandparents or older that are hiding in boxes or even albums and scan them. You will discover some real treasures that your larger family will love to have access to. If you go in together, it won’t cost any one family member that much to bring the family heritage to life for all.
12. Use pictures as you celebrate life! At birthday parties, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, and more find photos to make slide shows, celebration boards, albums or books to mark the important milestones of your life and family.
13. Finally, my resolution is to write one or more blog post each week in 2013. I would be honored to have you along on this journey of telling stories with photos. If you have questions, comments, or ideas for a blog post, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. My goal is to help you tell your story by having your photos organized, archived, and in a form you can enjoy and share with others.
Thanks for a great 2012 and I look forward to 2013. What will you do with your photos this year?