We have all been there, or most of us have. You have a birthday party or go to a special event. Taking pictures is fun, but let’s face it, most of those pictures will never get looked at again. Sure, some of them will end up on social media and get some likes. Maybe a few of them will get printed and end up on the wall. It can be frustrating when you know that you took a bunch of really great photos that no one will ever see. Well fret no longer, today we are going to help you solve this riddle with the best tips we have for organizing and displaying your pictures for everyone to see.
Picture Organization Tools and Tips
Organizing your pictures can be incredibly time consuming, just ask my wife. I have watched her spend hours scrutinizing each and every photo to make sure she picks the perfect one. It’s even harder when you have limited wall space or don’t want to post too many online. What do you do with all of those extras? Photos are like memories, keepsakes and no one wants to get rid of them. At the same time space is limited and sometimes you just have too many, or so you thought. Instead of deleting those precious reminders of the good times and great people in your life, check out these options for better organization of your images, both digital and printed.
Tip #1 Printed Photos Should Always be Converted to Digital Photos
Digital photographs are just easier to store and organize. They take up much less space and it’s much easier to protect them against fire damage or other losses. The best rule of thumb I can offer is if the image is not on display somewhere in your house then it should be converted to digital format. Once it’s converted you can get rid of the original unless you have plans to display it later and sometimes even when you have those plans. Pictures can be converted using a really high quality scanner or a conversion service.
Tip #2 Develop Naming Conventions for Your Digital Image Storage
Since most cameras and scanners use randomly generated names for the images they create, the best way to organize images is to have a naming convention for the folders you keep them in. Naming conventions are not the primary focus of this article so I won’t spend too much time on this but you can approach it in many ways and should choose the one that makes sense to you.
For example, you could start with the year the photo was taken, so name the first folder 2019. Then create sub-folders with the types of images like one folder for family, another for friends, and another for animals, scenery and so on. Then you can create sub-folder underneath those folders if it makes sense.
If you have a folder name vacations then you may want a separate folder under vacations for each vacation named with the location. This might only make sense if you do more than one vacation per year. Just be consistent with your folder names so that you can always find the perfect image when you need to.
Picture Frames That Give You Freedom of Choice.
My favorite option for a picture frame is undoubtedly the digital picture frame. With a digital picture frame, you can easily rotate through many different pictures and even different picture groups. Maybe one day you want to look at vacation pictures. Another day family photos, no matter what your mood is digital picture frames are a fast and fun way to see a variety of pictures. The good ones are even voice controlled so you can have your digital assistant change the picture group for you. There are many options to choose from when you are selecting a digital picture frame so here are my best tips for choosing the right one.
Tip #1 Choose the Right Size Digital Picture Frame.
There are many different sizes to choose from ranging from very small to very large. Make sure before you purchase one you know where you plan to place it, and what size will look the best. Some of the picture frames are thicker than others so you will want to make sure it will look good wherever you place it.
Tip #2 Make Sure It Has Enough Storage to Hold the Pictures You Want.
Storage can be a concern when you are talking about digital pictures. You should not only have a good idea of how many pictures you want to store, but also how big the images are and make sure to leave yourself room to grow. Online storage has been getting much more affordable lately and you should definitely keep an offsite or cloud copy of your pictures.
Bonus Tip *** Display Pictures on a TV Using Smart a Smart Phone
Another great way to display pictures is directly from your smart phone or memory card. This can be done using most smart TV’s and is fairly easy to set up.
Tip #3 Choose a Frame with a Good Picture Management System
Not all digital frames are made equal. Some have web-based picture management and feature that allow you to control multiple frames from a single account. Others are based off of memory cards which have to be inserted. Understanding the differences between these two types of frames can be important. For example, if you are using the type of frame that only takes a memory card then you will want to have an off-site storage option set up. That way if you have a house fire or a damaged memory card, you don’t lose all of your images. On the other hand, the web-based frames require access to the internet through a Wi-Fi router.
Digital Storage Options for Your Images and Videos
There is no shortage of options to choose from when you need to store pictures or any other form of data. With Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Carbonite, IDrive and many other companies competing for your business the options continue to provide more storage for less money. You also have in-house storage options with data drives getting cheaper and faster than ever before. Knowing which options are right for you can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you through it.
Tip #1 Always backup your digital images to cloud storage.
Storing your digital photos is easy to do, but you will want to make sure you choose the right option. Many people like to use USB or network area storage devices because they are easy to back up your files to. We always recommend that you have an off-site storage option or a cloud service. The reason we always recommend a cloud storage options for your primary or secondary backup, it’s the only way to protect yourself against fire damage or bad drives. Most reputable cloud storage platforms will have multiple redundancies built in so you that you never have to be concerned about losing your digital keepsakes.
Tip #2 If you want to use a local storage option, select one that supports a raid set
A raid set consists of an exact copy (or mirror) of a set of data on two or more disk drives; a classic RAID 1 mirrored pair contains two disks. You can also set up a raid 5 or 10. To learn more about setting up a raid set for storage options following this link. The reason you want to have a raid set is redundancy. Hard drives go bad all the time. If you have a raid set configured and one drive goes bad then you still have at least one good drive to save your data. Then you can install a new drive and rebuild the raid set, rebuilding your redundancy without losing any of your files. It’s important to understand this will not protect you from fire damage or multiple drive failures.
Tip #3 Automated Backups
I have been working in IT for over 20 years and I always recommend to my clients that they automate their backups. No matter what backup service you choose have it run on a schedule and make sure you have more than one copy of the files. I like to ask my clients “If you lost all of your data tomorrow, how much would you be willing to pay to get it back”. The answer is never more than what it actually costs to recover data, but it’s always more than the cost of an automated offsite backup.
Tips for Deciding Between Two Similar Pictures When You Love Them Both
This is something I struggle with, but have had to do a lot lately with a young baby (whose picture we have taken thousands of times since his birth). There is simply not enough wall space, or even digital frame space, to showcase them all. Often we will take several pictures that, to others, may look similar – same pose, same background, and same outfit. But to me, as his mom, his slightly different expression in each photo makes them all unique.
Tip #1 Your first reaction can often be your best reaction
My first piece of advice would be to try not to overthink it. Go with your initial gut reaction. I always end up coming back to the one I initially was pulled toward. To paraphrase Marie Kondo (of the Netflix series “Tidying Up” fame), “Which one sparks the most joy?”
Tip #2 Too many opinions can be detrimental to the process
I find it helpful to avoid asking others’ opinions. They just tend to confuse my decision-making. And these are for my walls, right? Recently, I was having trouble deciding on one among three photos to display in my dining room. We’ll call them photos A, B, and C. I was starting to lean toward photo B, but I asked my mother’s opinion, and wouldn’t you know, she said “either A or C”! I still ended up going with B because it made me smile the biggest when I looked at it, but knowing her opinion made it that much harder to choose. I’d suggest asking another person only if you are just ready for them to make the decision.
Tip #3 Take a breather, the pictures will still be there when you get back
Finally, if you are having a hard time trusting your initial gut reaction (believe me, I get it), take a break from it and come back later. This can be especially helpful if you are getting “decision fatigue” from curating scores of pictures at once. Come back and look at the photos with fresh eyes, pretending you have never seen them before. Focus on how each one makes you feel as you look at it. Sometimes things suddenly become clearer with a fresh perspective.
Too Many Pictures? Convert Printed Pictures to Digital.
We have talked quite a bit about digital images and that’s primarily because they are much easier not only to store but also to keep safe. You may be wondering what the best way to convert that box full of images into digital format is. Scanning them in yourself will require a good scanner if you want to maintain the right quality and that can be fairly expensive. Another option is to hire a service to do it for you. This can often be the easiest option especially if you have a large number of images to convert.