This past weekend I was privileged to attend a conference in Dallas for The Association of Professional Photo Organizers, or APPO for short. Everyone there had an appreciation and passion for all-things-photo. I learned that 880 billion photos will be snapped this year. I learned that there are 30,000 photos a minute uploaded to Instagram. I learned that billions of photos are in jeopardy because we don't understand & respect technology. I learned that photos are an easy marker of what is good, bad & meaningful in our lives.
One of my favorite quotes of the weekend was from the mouth of photographer Kevin Gilbert who said "A picture has no value if you can't find it."
In the spirit of these wise words, I want to share some good advice that I gleaned from the conference. I compiled wisdom from the above mentioned Kevin Gilbert, and from Nick Kelsh's presentation. Call it Ten Good Ideas.
1. Get your memories off your old computers, phones, tablets and onto a modern computer.
2. Put all your photos in one place on your computer. This could be a file labeled PHOTOS or I use Panstoria's Historian (formerly Memory Manager). Whatever the case, put them in ONE PLACE.
You want them in one place because if / when your computer crashes you have ONE FILE to save. You want the file named PHOTOS because if something would happen to you, it won't be a mystery to family members as to where to retrieve the photos!
3. Re-name all your photos. CRV1026 means nothing to me... or to anybody. This can be as simple as "Charlotte's Birthday" or "Dallas Trip". This will enable you to locate your photos more easily.
4. Sort them into folders. Think like a librarian. This is how you organize your photos - by renaming them and naming your folders. Nick Kelsh said "It takes discipline, but the time you spend doing it is less than when you can't find one."
Creating folders is super easy in programs like Historian. Since I have mentioned it twice now I will give you the link. Click here if you want to know more about the photo organizing software I love.
5. Create a "Greatest Hits" folder. These are photos that make you gasp when they appear on the screen. These are photos you want to share with the world. These are photos you are proud of. These are photos you gave a 5-star rating.
6. Get your photos from social media and back into YOUR files.
7. Back up your entire photo collection onto an external hard drive AND in the cloud.
External Hard Drive backup is a one button process using the SHADOW COPY feature in Historian. And FYI, I use Carbonite for my cloud backup. There are many options out there, just do it.
8. Treat your originals lovingly. Remember that if you edit in PhotoShop, you trash your original image when you edit. I like software (like Historian) that always keep the original image, no matter how many times you edit. OK, I am sorry that this sounds like a commercial, but I cannot help sharing what I am doing & loving as part of the sound advice.
9. PRINT YOUR PHOTOS. There are 1000 creative ways to do it. Honestly, this is the only way to guarantee that your photos will be around in 10 years... or even 5.
10. Enjoy your photos. Reminisce.