Have you seen the news about people gathering photos that have been blown far and wide by recent tornadoes? People who find the scattered prints and can drop them off at designated locations, where they are cleaned and organized in order to reunite them with their owners. This is exactly what I tell my clients – getting your photos organized starts with gathering them all in one place. Every time you find another photo floating around the house, bring it to that ‘one place’ for photos. In some ways printed photos are easier than digital, because they’re more visible!
Having just said prints are more visible, however, they like to hide in closets and drawers, under beds, in boxes and bags. I’ve found photos in books, in attics, and in basements – none of these is a great place to keep prints! You will need to do some searching to find all the prints. Don’t forget the obvious places like photo albums and frames! There will be duplicates and sometimes even more copies of the same photo. You just don’t know until you gather them all together.
Digital images need to be brought together as well. You can have them on several devices, cards, and online services. Technology is great, but it can also be difficult to find where you photos have been scattered across your computer’s hard drive, the external hard drive, flash drives, CDs and DVDs. I really like Picture Keeper for finding where all the jpegs are on a computer. It’s also a great backup for your digital images which are very vulnerable to loss. Moving all your photos onto one computer is key. You will have copies in other places as backups, but you want to know that all the “originals” are together on your computer.
One of the disadvantages of digital images is that when you’re gathering them all in one place, it’s harder to identify duplicates. I like Awesome Duplicate Photo Finder for comparing jpegs. It looks at the pixels, not just the file size and tells you how closely two images match. You still have to compare the images visually, but the program lets you do that. You can control how many folders you search at a time. This is helpful when you have images on different drives, or very different folders that you think might be copies. Awesome Duplicate Photo Finder only compares two images at a time, so if there are multiple copies of an image, or it was edited in several ways, you will need to compare them two by two. First gather your printed and digital photos together so you can see what you have and can begin the process of organizing them. Dealing with the duplicates is the next step – look for a later blog on this subject!
Where is your ‘one place’?