Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Photo Archiving: What Do You Do?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
As family Historian, I have taken my job a little lightly lately. And since I am taking a photography class to help my technique I am taking even more images than before (don't you love the digital age?). I suspect part of our final class will involve a lesson in editing. I don't need six of the same type of picture (but this one he's looking at the camera, and this one he's so sweet the way he's looking down, and this one shows....Mercy!). You feel me?

Digital Archiving
I look forward to embracing the freedom of selection ( I have some room to grow here) and ways to refine my photo archives. Currently, I have a pretty good digital system. Here's the basic plan of attack:

1. Snap away

2. Shortly after the photographic occasion (I don't store pictures on my camera or card. I take them off pretty quickly.) I download the picture onto my computer.

3. I am a big, huge fan of Picasa. I organize my pictures by Year-Month-Event (ie: 2008-Nov-Photo Class or 2008-Nov-Thanksgiving) for easy reference.

4. If I want to share the photos I upload to a Picasa web album. I may have to look into Flickr as another option.

5. I burn a DVD (holds more photos than a CD) of my images for the year.

Printed Archiving
My printed image plan has been on about a four year hiatus. I got buried with motherhood and the like and kept feeling like I wanted to 'do it right' thus postponing the printing. I am pretty good about making birthday books for the kids and I have a few themed photo books that I make (such as Fall, Christmas, special vacations, etc.). But I have fallen off the job when it comes to adding actual prints to real life annual albums.

Cindy Crawford has a plan I love but haven't fully implemented. She prints her favorite photos and puts them out for viewing (She uses a big bowl but that won't work for me. I have too many grimy hands waiting to mar my prized photos.)

Once every three months or so she sits down with a glass of wine and adds them to her annual album with notes and special thoughts. When her mother visits she can just take the latest album down and easily feel connected via the photo album. Isn't that why we keep the printed pictures in the first place?

My 'favorites' collage.

So here's my plan.
1. Starting NOW I will print out my favorite images as we go.

2. I like Cindy's plan about letting them sit out for a few months to be enjoyed. Then I will sit with the wine (of course!) and add them to an annual family album.

3. Time permitting I will go back each month and do the same for the years I've missed--to get caught up. I think chipping away at will make me feel like it isn't such a daunting task. Time will also have given me some perspective as to which images are print worthy. (I just completed my fall photo books for the past six years. It really took very little time and I felt so good having those to put out and reflect with the family.)

4. For safe measure, I think I will upload my must have. can't live without copies to something online, probably Picasa web album. That way I have my physical pic, a digital copy and then an off-site back up if there is ever such a tragedy that I need that.

Now, what do you do? Any good tips to share?


jora said...

Thank you so much for this. Two nights ago I stayed up way too late trying to organize a much-neglected few months of photos. I can never figure out the best way to organzie and enjoy digital photos. These are great ideas. I used to use Picasa and maybe I should again. Is there a way to automatically upload directly to it when you are uploading your photos to the computer? Also, do you use flickr? If not, is it because you like Picasa better? We need to discuss.

mybelle68 said...

My plan is very close to yours. I tend to run out of the photo albums. Than I never get back to cost co or wherever to get 5-8 more photot albums. So them I'm stuck and they pile up. I have to say I don't do this monthly but more every 3 months and if I don't finish up, then I get set back more. OHhhhhh the craziness of it all. Maybe this will be my new years resolution.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I have no plan... and I'm not joking, it keeps me up at night!! The sleepless anxiety I have in the nights is about how I have 12 years worth of photos not in albums or organized in any fashion. I have many years worth that I printed and now take up space in a dozen random cabinets around my house. I have the last 5 years worth on my computer hard-drive (Why print if I'm not capable of doing anything with them??).

It's the one area of my life that I feel completely hopeless!! I think I need counseling....