Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Photo Organization

I'll be the first person to say that, where personal possessions are concerned, the thought of losing my photographs is probably one of my greatest haunts. I love images: the moments they capture and the history they represent are enriching.

Another thing they are is stress-inducing! With my patented and trademarked practice of "Why put off today what you can do tomorrow?" I have fallen perfectly into the "Boxes of Prints; Mangled Hard Drive" category and am working diligently to take control. The hard drive piece isn't quite as perplexing, but sorting through 34 years of prints is a little eye-crossing.

I haven't downloaded the book from (yet) but think I'm going to as I've gotten pretty far into my system and think I'm at a place where some wisdom could really have a positive influence on the choices I make. Basically, I've taken all of my photographs and am sorting them into 5 different stacks: Robby (pictures primarily of me); Pets (dogs and horses and, yes, this is the largest stack); Family; Friends; Travel and Scenery. At this point I'm simply in the first phase of sorting. Once this is finished, I intend to go through each stack again, culling any duplicates and editing photographs that would certainly be a "delete" on a modern digital camera.

From there, I'll organize each stack into groups, as best as possible ("Cancun 1994," for example, in the Travel and Scenery category), then will scan everything at a high-resolution. Once scanned, the files/folders will be burned to DVD and stored in my fire-retardant safety box. I'll also optimize any images I want to include in a photo book (I like the ones from Shutterfly) or display in a digital frame. I'm also going to follow this same system with the images on my computer, and beginning in January, 2011, I'll simply backup everything to DVD from 2010. Hopefully I'll have a process that can be tweaked as technology evolves but, fundamentally, is buoyant.

As soon as I'm finished with my stuff, I'm going to tackle my mother's boxes for her. My working mantra was inherited, I must admit, but that doesn't change the fact that archiving our history is important.

Is it crazy to be this focused? What tips might anyone reading this share?

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