For the past couple of months, I’ve been working on a very large project to organize my photos. And I mean a very large project. While most scrapbookers take a lot of photos, I have been a photography enthusiast almost my entire life. I got my first camera at age eight. That’s, well, decades of photos – over twenty boxes of them!
As I went through the project, I discovered that I wasn’t as organized as I had thought. And I also discovered some very good reasons for organizing your photos.
Reason #1: So You Can Find Them
Yes, we’re starting out with the most obvious reason to organize your photos. Can you lay hands on any photo in your archive, digital or print, any time you want it? If the answer is “no” or “not without a bunch of digging around”…you need some photo organization!
I had thought my photos were pretty well organized, until I embarked on this project and discovered otherwise.
Reason #2: So You Know What You Have
Part of the process of organizing photos is consolidating all of your photo assets together in one system. Through this process you end up taking what is essentially an inventory – and even uncovering things that you had forgotten you had. As I was going through boxes of photos that I was organizing, I discovered all sorts of lost gems: enlargements I’d had made to scrapbook, photos from my school years in Europe, and even a precious photo of my husband as a toddler with his mother!
Reason #3: So You Can Protect Them
Hand in hand with the organizing process goes the process of creating proper storage. When your photos are organized, it is much easier to create storage that will protect them from disasters and environmental damage. This goal was actually the primary reason that I started my photo organization project, but it actually ended up being secondary to other ones once I got started.
Reason #4: So You Can Share Them
Photos are meant to be shared…but you can’t share them if you can’t find them. Wouldn’t it be great to show your budding ballerina granddaughter a photo of her mother doing ballet at her age? Or to show your kids pictures of what Disneyworld looked like when you were a kid when you are getting ready for your own family trip? Or post a first day of kindergarten picture on Facebook of your new high school graduate? Doing all of that is so much easier when your photos are organized!
Reason #5: So You Can Hand Them Down
Photos are more than personal memories. They are family heirlooms! You may know what year that photo was taken, or who those people are. But do your kids – or your grandkids? Would someone else be able to find what they want in your photo archives, or would it seem like an impenetrable mess? Organizing your photo archive means that you can pass down your knowledge of your photos along with them, so they will mean more to future generations. I’m so glad that I did this project now while my mom was still around to ask questions about photos I found.
So, given how important it is to organize your precious photo memories, I’m going to be sharing a series all this week that is the result of my own photo organizing project. We’ll discuss everything from organizing your negatives to the next generation organizing project of actually scanning your prints. I hope at the end that you’ll be inspired – and empowered – to take on the project yourself.
Come back and join me tomorrow for the first step…organizing your negatives!