What are you doing with all the printed photos you have? Unless you are younger than 12 and your parents were early adopters of the digital camera, you will have printed photos of your life to deal with. All of our photos pre-children are film! Most of the photos once the kids came are digital. For many people they have a mix of printed photos and digital images which may or may not be printed. Then there are all the slides, prints, and movies inherited from parents or grandparents!
First you need to see what you have. This means gathering all those photos, slides, film, videos, etc. from the various places they’ve been hiding. Look in boxes and bags, closets and drawers, under the bed and on top of the cabinets. Gather those printed photos from all over your house, and even your parents and siblings homes.
Once you have gathered everything together, you’re ready for the next step – getting them organized! There is no way around looking at all those photos, slides, etc. to see what you have. Sometimes it is helpful to have someone who is not emotionally connected to the photos help you with this organizing process. This is where a Personal Photo Organizer can help, an objective eye that asks basic questions to move you forward.
I love the ABC’s of photo organizing that the Association of Personal Photo Organizers has developed. It really helps you move along quickly and start thinking about the end result from the beginning.
As you look through the photos, which do you see as going in an Album? The ones you want to share or have people see of your vacation, holidays, growing up years, or other themes. That’s the A pile.
Which photos do you want to keep, but don’t want in an album? Either they are too big, or are too personal for a “public” album. There may be other reasons, but these photos will go in a photo safe Box, the B pile.
Those photos that are blurry, duplicates, variation number 104, you don’t know who the people are, or where it was taken, these are the ones to throw away, the C for can. Even professional photographers don’t keep all of the shots they take. You can get rid of more than you might think.
Then there are those photos that you look at and the stories just start pouring out. These are the “s” pile, and in my mind, the most important! They may not be the best photograph, but they tell important stories of our lives. These are the photos that you want to showcase, along with the stories they tell. They belong on your walls, in books, and other places so everyone can enjoy and share them.
This process may take you some time! Like I said earlier, eat the elephant one bite at a time and all those photos will get organized. Then you can start to enjoy them!