This is the 3rd post in a series about how I’m going to move forward with organizing my accumulating masses of digital photos. Check out the first two posts here:
- Easy for me to access
- Easy for my family to access
Well, #2, easy for me to access, is the whole reason I started down this road to organization. I’ve taken tons and tons of pictures lately and half the time it takes me 30 minutes to find the one I want for a project or blog post. I go through all the trouble to find, scan, and clean up a picture like this…
Only to spend an hour trying to find it again because it’s titled DSC18699543, and filed under “untitled” on my computer–with 615 other DSC# files. So here’s my plan.
This is hard for me. I’m afraid to lose any moment that we might have captured. I’m going to start off gently and just delete anything that’s unrecognizable…
…Or anything blurry, with closed eyes, etc. The obvious stuff. But the point is to keep pictures that I would use, either in a blog post, in a scrapbook, or in a frame. I think a good rule of thumb would be, if you put it in a photo album, would you enjoy turning the pages and looking at it? That black and white of Speedracer is actually 1 out of about 20 shots that are all slightly different but mostly the same and that was the best. Why keep the other 19?
#2 Use Flickr.
I’m going to stick with Flickr for photo storage and backup, so I’m going to use their Tags, Sets, and Collections as the backbone of my folder system. I started with Flickr because it was free and the Pioneer Woman uses it. She definitely values her pictures and I definitely value free, so it seemed to be a win-win. Since starting with it, I’m very glad I did. It was easy to roll into a paid account when I was ready, and I appreciate the multi-level privacy settings. You can designate each picture for Family, Friends, or general Public (meaning everyone)–and it’s easy to change the designation at any time.
Flickr also interfaces easily with Yahoo and Picnik (they even share log-ins). “Easily” is key for me, since I use both and complicated computer stuff totally defeats me. Supposedly Flickr and WordPress also work well together, but I’m still struggling to get that relationship to run smoothly. And, of course, you can share pictures with anyone you want–all they have to do is sign up for a free account. (Which hit’s my #3 goal of “Easy for Family to Access” without me having to go into another post about it!)
Flickr uses Sets and Collections to organize photos. A Set can have as many photos as you want, and then you group Sets into Collections. A Collection is made up of as many Sets as you want. The neat thing (or confusing thing) is that you can have the same picture in as many Sets as you want and the same Sets in as many Collections as you want. Moving forward (and eventually backwards) I’ll be creating a new set for each month, each blogging month, and special events. These sets will be rolled into a Collection of each year, and then special Collections of reoccurring events. Confused? I was at first. Here’s a bit of a break down…
Sets: “2011, Jan”
“2011, Jan, blog”
“2011, Jan, Waylon 3rd bday”
“2011, Feb, blog”
“2011, Feb, Vday weekend”
You can use the same Set system to create special event Collections as well. One I’ve got set up now is a Collection called “Birthdays” since I hope to one day scrapbook birthdays regularly. I’ll take all the Sets like “2011, Jan, Waylon 3rd bday” and put them into the “Birthdays” Collection as well as the Collection for each individual year. Another Collection will be “Christmas.” You’re not actually creating new Sets each time, so you’re not duplicating your pictures. It’s awesome.
Flickr also uses Tags with their organization system. Tags are just key words you assign to your picture (up to 40 per photo!) that you can search by later. This way you don’t have to put everything in the photo title. I plan to just keep the automatic photo titles most of the time and use Tags and preview to find pictures. I made a quick note to myself of how I’m going to use Tags too. I’ll use the year if I know it, names of everyone in the picture, and event or place.
This is another self-discipline issue. I have to make myself Tag the photos. Flickr allows you to Tag photos in batches too, so I’m sure that will come in handy.
I’ll let you know how it goes as I delete, delete, delete!