After my son was born, I became a "mamarazzi". Suddenly I went from taking a photo every other day or so at home to taking so many photos that I would have to delete apps off of my phone to take more. And I was filling up my real camera so quickly that I felt like I needed a photo saving system that made pictures easy to locate in the future and were backed so that they could never be lost.
The great thing about family photos when my parents were raising me is that they would take pictures, develop the film , and then we made family albums each year. I never had to be paranoid that I would lose the flash drive they were saved on or that my cloud would crash because they were safely printed into albums.
Here are my tips for backing up and organizing your digital family photos.
1. Sign up for cloud storage to backup cell phone photos without plugging in.
Amazon photo storage is free if you are a Prime user.
Or Google Photos has a free service. This is going to be crucial to being sure that you can access your digital photos if for some reason something happens to your computer.
The great thing about Prime and Google is that they have apps that allow you to upload photos into the drives directly from your phone and it creates a way that you can share these albums privately online with family.
If you don't trust electronic clouds, you can always get one of these external hard drives.
2. Create storage folders in your computer that will organize themselves.
Your computer will automatically re-sort folders in a location numerically and alphabetically.
First, within your picture folder, create a folder with the labels for each year you have photos. 2017, 2016, 2015....
Then, within each year's folder, create a folder with a month number followed by the name of the month.
You'll want to start with the number so that it does not sort folders by alpha, and include a zero before single digit numbers. 01-January '16, 02-February - '16, 03-March '16.
Alternatively, if you don't take as many photos, you may want to organize it by 1-Winter, 2-Spring, 3-Summer, 4-Fall. Your computer will always list the folders in this order when you label this way.
Look how pretty that is! You will easily be able to locate past events and milestones.
3. Commit to uploading on the first day of each month.
It is hard to stay organized when you have a busy life, but spend a small bit of time on the first day of the month to add all the previous month's photos to your folder.
Take a moment each month to clear your digital camera's memory card and upload your cell phone pictures so that you can back up your family's legacy. You'll thank yourself in the future!
Want to learn more tips and tricks to documenting your family's life through pictures? Follow my blog.
Sarah Beth Van Alstyne is an award winning Frisco photographer specializing in high school senior, lifestyle, newborn, and family photography in Frisco, Prosper, Plano, McKinney, and surrounding cities. Contact her to set up your next family photos!