Jennifer Niloff, Everpresent
August is coming to a close. Teachers and parents have been preparing for the inevitable return of the school year as children soak up as much water and sunshine as they can before it’s back to their books. As you’re buying new clothes and school supplies, don’t forget to take care of your photos. You’ll need space on your phones for the first day of school, new friends, art projects, field trips and more. We’re providing an easy one-two-three to make sure you’re prepared to finish the summer organized and to get started on your end of the summer photo projects.
1. Clear up space on your cameras and smartphones by downloading them to a central hub
It’s likely you are currently using a software or program like Google photos that syncs all of your photos to their platform to keep them safe. However, those are account based and your photos are not syncing to the same place as your spouse’s photos unless you share an account.
Gather all of the devices with photos from the summer and transfer everything from them onto a central computer that stores all of your photos. You can also have your family share their photos via Dropbox or their preferred photo program, as long as you store everything in one place.
Pick Your Favorite Photos
2. Turn each big summer event or summer vacation into a folder with all of the pictures
Once you have compiled all your summer photos into one place, you can do your first run through and separate them into groups. This is not the time to scrutinize every photo, this is the time to consider overarching themes. If you’re like most people, you have hundreds of photos from this summer and you’ll want to pull out the best of them, but it’s much easier to do that in smaller batches.
Make a folder for every major event, like birthdays and weddings. Make a separate folder for your primary summer vacation and another folder of general summer photos.
3. Take the time to go through your photos. Highlight favorites and delete the bad ones.
Pulling out the best photos from your collection is the most important part. Now is the time to consider what you want to do with your summer photos as fall approaches. If you’re planning an annual photo book, you need less photos than if you were making a book about your summer trip to the Grand Canyon. If you’re a family that takes a lot of videos, you may want to create a video slideshow that includes photos, and the length of time you’re comfortable making your video effects how many photos you should include.
Our senior digital organizing technician recommends highlighting the top 10% of your photos first. These are the photos that really sing and would include your favorite professional photos from an event and your best vacation photos. It doesn’t mean that these are the only photos you plan on using or sharing, but they’re the best of the best and will be included in anything you use your summer photos for.
It’s equally important to go through and delete all of your bad photos. We find that our average client doesn’t want 30-50% of their photos from a season. “Bad” means different things to different people and this step is easy before it gets harder and we frequently say – be ruthless. The easy photos to delete are the blurry ones, fingers partially covering the lens, pictures of nothing from your toddler grabbing the phone, etc. If you don’t delete these as you go, this could already remove a sizeable chunk of photos you don’t need from your batch.
The hard part is getting rid of the photos that aren’t horrible, but they’re not good either. You don’t need 15 photos from your son’s friend’s birthday party. Keep the best 2 or 3 and delete the rest. The same goes for landscapes and scenery, pick the best and delete the rest.
If a group of people doesn’t have everyone looking at the camera with their eyes open, it can go. If people have limbs cut off in the frame or you have a group of photos that are all incredibly similar due to your phone’s burst function – they can all go. It’s harder when there are people involved, but it’s ok to delete photos of people — we promise!
Turn your vacation-photos into a photo-book…
Now you’re ready for the photos you need to take during the upcoming back-to-school and holiday seasons. Keep these tips in mind as you go forward and it will make all your photo organization go smoothly the rest of the year. This will not only make it easier to share your photos with friends and family, but easier to create photo gifts.
Jennifer Niloff, a lifelong scrapbooker who in 2012 turned her passion into a family memories company, EverPresent. Jennifer, whose company now employs over 40 professionals and serves clients nationwide, writes on topics ranging from photo scanning best practices to digital photo organizing to the best methods of using photos and videos to share important family stories with loved ones in photo books and edited slideshows.