Organizing digital photos can be tedious, frustrating, and VERY time-consuming.
Like most people, I love taking tons of photos, without worrying about how much film I was using. I also love viewing my photos right away through the LED screen. What I didn't know initially was that organizing digital photos takes time. LOTS of time. But, in the long run, you will end up with a system that is great for storing and retrieving your precious digital photos.
- Download - The first thing you want to do is download your pictures to your computer. This can be done in one of 3 ways:
◦ Through a USB cable from your computer to your camera;
◦ Through a memory card reader; or,
◦ Through a memory card readers built right into your computer.
- Delete and Edit - Firstly, delete any photos that you do not want to keep. Don't feel guilty here. That is the great part of a digital camera, you delete the bad, out-if-focus, or otherwise unworthy photos and keep only the pictures that you really love. Next, edit the photos that you are going to keep.
- Rename the Image File - This has to be the most tedious part of organizing digital photos. All photos come with a file name that really doesn't mean anything to you - just a bunch of numbers and letters. So, in order to find a photo years down the line, you must name the photo. Be specific. Don't name the picture "Mary at the park". Include the name of the person, place, month and year, and what the person was doing or something about the photograph that will help you remember.
- Categorize Albums - Most cameras come with software which allows you to make albums in which to place your photos. You may wish to use categories such as family, friends, vacation, etc. But you can also do it by time. Some examples may be by year, month, etc. I file mine chronologically such as 2010-04 (April), 2010-03 (March), etc. and then make sub-directories within such as Birthday Party, Vacation, etc. However you choose, think about it carefully and decide what will work best for you. It may also depend on the software program you are using and how much you want to do. Deciding on a method now will save you tons to time and energy later.
- Save Them Forever - After following the above steps, it is time to think about how you will save your photos. This can be done in one of 3 ways:
◦ Burn them to a CD/DVD;
◦ Use an external storage device found at any office supply or home electronics center; or,
◦ Use digital photo online storage.