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Wednesday, September 2, 2020


Recently I had a project that I needed a couple of specific older original photos for, and for the life of me I couldn't locate them!  I'll be the first to admit that organizing and storing my digital photos is not a strength for me, so I spent a good amount of time searching for those that I needed.  As you can imagine, I take a LOT of photos!  I've done a better job in the past few years of labeling and storing my blog photos in organized folders on my computer, but I have files and files of photos from before then that need to be dealt with and honestly I wasn't sure of the best way to go about it.  So, I asked my friends on Instagram to share their best digital photo organization and storage tips and I'm sharing those with all of you today!

photo organizing, digital photo storage, digital photo organization

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As you can see in the photo, I've had a bad habit of piling up memory cards full of photos and never doing anything with those to move them to a more permanent storage location.  BAD!  I know!  So, the first thing I did as I was hunting for my missing photos was to view each card and label what was on them.  And that's as far as I got before asking you all for help!

These are all pretty basic suggestions but super helpful if and when I take the time to actually implement them.  I have a feeling that's the problem for most of us!  Thank you so much to all of my friends who contributed to this list, several were mentioned multiple times so I just compiled them all.  I'm referring to all of the photos I've taken with my "big camera" and a memory card, but most of these suggestions are good for phone photos too!


*View the photos you've taken often and delete the bad ones.  Be a little ruthless, you usually don't need 20 different shots of the same thing or event.  Pick a few of the best ones that tell the story of what was happening.

*After deleting, upload keeper photos to your computer often.  Don't allow them to just sit on a memory card.

*Set up folders on your desktop for various occasions- Vacation, Christmas, Birthdays, etc. and save photos from each occasion after they take place.  I have a general folder for each year that says something like "Family Photos 2020" and then smaller folders saved within that with family events labeled (Caleb 19th Birthday, Emily First Day of School, Thanksgiving, etc.).

(some recommended backing up on 2 different sites online just to be safe)


*iCloud and create digital albums through Apple

*Google Drive (Google Photos)

*Microsoft OneDrive


*Amazon Photos- did you know Amazon offers free unlimited photo storage along with your Prime Membership?  (Sign up for a free Amazon Prime trial here)


*Many others... those are just a few of the most popular options


I asked a tech savvy friend what he would recommend for reliable, affordable external hard drive storage options, and he suggested these desktop or portable models, both have a variety or storage options.

I have some smaller capacity flash drives that I've found useful as well if you want something portable for smaller files.


I first became familiar with Miss Freddy after hearing her on this podcast (give it a listen for more help!), and then several who responded on IG suggested her.  Those mentions refreshed my memory to look into more of her tips and suggestions.   Her blog offers super helpful organization posts and you'll want to follow her on IG too.  And, if you'd rather hand everything over to a pro, she offers photo organizing services where she'll do everything for you!

As I commit to getting this situation under control and keeping these suggestions in mind, here's my personal plan of action:

1.  DELETE!!  I have lists and lists of photo files on those cards, my old computer, etc.  I usually take well over 100+ photos for bigger photo shoots like a room tour, and only about 20-25 are good enough to edit and actually use.  So, my first step will be going through and dealing with all of my photos to delete the ones that I don't want to keep.  Doing this for family pics too... don't we all take 20 shots of something for the 1 good one?  Delete the bad ones!  I'm also trying to take the time when I have an extra few minutes here and there to do the same on my phone.  I have SO many eyes closed, bad lighting, screen shots, duplicates, etc. taking up space on my phone that I don't need!  We have some extended travel time coming up soon, so I plan to work on all of this deleting in the car... no wifi needed!

2.  Label remaining photos and put them in folders according to occasion, year, etc.

3.  Save photo folders to an external hard drive.

4.  Save to some type of online storage.  I have a lot of Dropbox storage but have found it takes SO LONG for my original, high res photos to upload to it, it's always just been too much trouble to upload.  Surely I'm missing something or doing something wrong... I'd love any suggestions there!

FYI-  I found my missing photos stored on my old computer with photos that I haven't moved to my new computer yet.  Another thing for my to-do list!  Hopefully you'll see them IN PRINT soon... eek!  But until I have something in my hands that's all I'll say about that for now... wink wink!

Now it's your turn... many of these suggestions were from my Instagram followers, but if you missed that chance to share a tip and have any additional suggestions I'd love to see them in the comments!  I'll update the post with any new suggestions so they're all in one place.

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