Get Your Photos Off The Camera!

My mom and I, circa 1990

My mom and I, circa 1990 – From a film camera!

I’ve always loved looking at family photo books. Treasures of times gone by and people we once were all locked on a piece of glossy paper. What a gift the invention of the photograph has been to generations of people.

I grew up back when film cameras were the only option – gasp! I dare to even admit that I remember when you attached flashbulbs as well. If that doesn’t make me feel old, I don’t know what will.

All of that to say, during that time, developing film was expensive. Or at least it was for my family. Paying $9 for 24 exposures that probably included 5 that were out of focus and 3 that had your finger over the lens was no way to blow your cash. It was risky business.

Crazy as it sounds, especially for an only child, we had pictures a’plenty from the time I was born until I was 3. Then they stopped until I started school. And after that, the only evidence that life went on was the yearly school picture. And, let’s face it, those were absolutely horrific on the best day.

I was determined that my kids would have photographic evidence of their entire lives. The digital camera age makes that so easy. But, it seems that what throws most moms off is what to do with all the photos! How should we organize them and what happens once they come off the camera?

The first thing you need to do when you take your photos off of your camera is quickly organize them. I do this in two easy ways… 1} The first is to create a folder for each event – for example, “2015 June – Disneyland vacation”. This tells me when the event took place and what it was. 2} The second is to create a miscellaneous folder – for example, “2015 June”. All of the photos that I took in June that were just everyday photos and didn’t necessarily fall into an “event” per se, go into the category for the month.

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Folder organization example :: My December 2014. All misc photos from each month go into a folder labeled “RAW”. The ones in the “Finished” folder, let me know that they have been edited or enhanced. (I have a “Finished” folder in each sub-folder as well.)

The next thing to do is save them. Yes, immediately back them up! Most experts agree that you need two backups. Some have an external hard drive and that’s fine, but I personally don’t trust them. I choose to have two cloud-based back ups – Smugmug and Shutterfly are the two that I love.

When you upload your photos, do so with the folder names that you decide upon for organizational purposes. This helps you keep track and make sure that you have everything accounted for, it helps you find photos when you need them, and God-forbid that one of your backups should fail – you know quickly what you are missing when comparing it with your second source!

Finally, with your pictures off of your camera, you are all set to enjoy them! Print them off, frame them, or put them on the fridge! Pocket scrapbooking is a huge thing now, so you can even make albums just like we had growing up with ease! {If you aren’t familiar with pocket scrapbooking, check out Becky Higgin’s Project Life.} Whatever you decide, enjoy the fruits of your labor and the benefits of these great cameras that we have today!!!

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