There are two things you can do with this challenge:
- You can go back and sort through and organize all the pictures you already have
- You can ignore those pictures and employ a new method for choosing and storing pictures from this point forward
The main methodology for both options is the same. First, you must delete, delete, delete. Don’t deliberate. If the picture doesn’t bring you joy and isn’t essential for recording an important event, just delete it. Believe me, you won’t go back later in life looking for that one certain grainy, out of focus picture taken in a dark auditorium where you can barely see your son in the second row of cellos, hidden by his stand partner.
If you have 10 pictures that are almost identical, pick one and delete the rest. Believe me, as a professional photographer, I know how hard this is! I deliberate way too long about which pictures to show clients, but in the end, I make myself get rid of the ones that are all really similar to each other, even if they are REALLY GOOD pictures!
The next part of dealing with digital photos is knowing how to store them on our computers so we actually CAN find them later. In the past, I used to label my folders with names like, “Daniel and Charity’s Wedding,” “Disney Family Party,” and “Dad’s 80th Birthday.” Don’t do this. Finding random photos when you can’t remember the name of the folder you put them in is a recipe for frustration. There is always the “search” function on your computer, but I have never found that to be helpful–at all.
Here’s what I do. I organize everything by date. First, I label a folder “Family Pictures.” I have this on the desktop of my computer. Inside this folder, I have folders for each year labeled, “Family pics 2010, Family pics 2011, Family pics 2012, etc. Then inside each of those folders, I have January 2015, Feburary 2015, March 2015, etc.
Here is a picture to show you exactly what I mean. (I have left out the main “Family Picture” folder that will be on your desktop or wherever else you choose to have it). You’ll notice that the months are not in order because the computer automatically alphabetizes them.
Whether or not you choose to go back and organize all your photos from the past or just start from this day forward to organize them, remember to LIVE YOUR LIFE! Do you want to be fully present, or do you want to miss out on the enjoyment you could have had because you were too busy pushing a button?