As of January 5, 2018 I had found 3768 photos on my iPhone along with 158 videos. Gasp!
When I began organizing the host of photos, none of the pictures were tagged with subject. Only an image number identified each photo (IMG_2548, for example). And only a few had been edited for size, exposure, and sharpness. Unless I had a photographic memory, I would never remember the shots I took, what month, what year. Retrieval would be impossible without an arduous search with a sketchy memory.
I have asked myself, How did this happen? How did I allow so many photos to accumulate nilly willy? Like the 600-pounder who permits weight to accrue pound by pound, my photos multiplied one click at a time.
Of course, I’m not chiding myself for taking photos on a whim. Photography is my hobby and feeds the serious business of sharing on social media, including here on my blog. Certainly, I value highly all the photos in my family’s albums taken over the last 3-4 generations, many of which have been displayed here for posterity’s sake.
Some time ago, I did download my photos on an external hard-drive. Thus, if my iPhone camera blew up or choked on its already bulging bag of pictures, I’d have some backup.
Since August 2017, I have identified each photo with subject matter. For example, the tag “CurtisSoccerNov2017_img3189,” retains the image number, but adds another layer of identification. (By the way, keeping the image number with the tag is a good way to check for duplicates in your picture gallery.)
Then, a few weeks ago, the photos, labeled and edited, were backed up on a second storage space. Eventually, I will probably need to also find space on the Cloud in case the digital data on my current backups are compromised in some way.
In 2016, my blog friend and author Lucinda J. Miller posted a blog entitled “Every 15 Pictures.” Link: http://lucindajmiller.com/every-15-pictures/
She had a clever idea, I think, and I’ve have adapted it here as a way to document family life in December 2017.
Ten Secrets from my iPhone: Here with captions are photos chosen at random from last month.
The steps of a good wo/man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
Psalm 37:23, KJV
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Do you use a smart phone for taking pictures? A more sophisticated camera? How do you organize your photos?
What tips can you add to my suggestions?
What is the most prized photo you’ve taken this past year?
What a lot of sorting out that must have taken. Truly the patience of a saint required.
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
Ha, Sir David! I’m not sure about the “saint” salutation, but I would say it took me the patience of Job. Best wishes for a truly prosperous and – above all – healthy new year! You are commenter # 1 today. Thank you and huge hugs back to you as well.
Aunt Ruthy would be proud! I try to keep up with my photos by downloading to a thumb drive. The special photos are printed and placed into a photo album so they can be enjoyed over the holidays.
You can curate from your thumb drive, great idea. I’m guessing you may also print some photos as holiday gifts too. Thanks, Jill!
I have thousands of photos on my iPhone, too–totally unorganized. Some, of course, downloaded to my computer, and social media. I’ve also put some on Google Photos because I ran out of memory on my phone, but still–nothing organized. I congratulate you on your determination and hard work, Marian!
Thank you, Merril. I must say, a woman who produces a perfect poem every day and publishes books of encyclopoedic proportions needn’t apologize for being a bit disorganized in another area of your life. Maybe you are one of those people who enjoys the moment the camera clicks, freezing a instant in time.
Incidentally, I would guess one of your daughters would be interested in organizing your photos at some point. Judging from your Monday blog posts, they would be featured in many of your shots. Just a thought!
Thank you for the kind compliment, Marian. My daughters have way too much of their own photos, art, and other work to worry about organizing mine. 🙂
Well, it was just thought, Merril. There are worse things in the world than have untitled photos. Seriously! 🙂
I too love photography and have been on a bit of a journey with my visual side, Marian. But I have never gotten around to naming each photo. I may regret that lack some day, but here is what I have observed about photos after my “box in the basement” slide review push two years ago:
1. so many photos are just not worth preserving. Just because we can easily take scores of pictures every day doesn’t mean we should or that they should survive close scrutiny. I so carefully documented my children’s childhoods, and they each have 4-5 scrapbooks, but they don’t show a lot of interest in them yet. They do like, however, when I go find baby pics, etc. when they are most relevant.
2. all my photos are backed up automatically in iCloud. And Apple allows me to search by year, place, even face, so I can usually find a photo quickly, though I don’t go back very often. SEARCH is my friend. My photos are like my email. I don’t organize either very well, but I can usually find what I want in the archive because of this amazing function.
to be continued
Great ideas, Shirley. Thanks.
3. Facebook collects my best photos. I can’t count on having FB forever, (I don’t “own” that space), but for now it’s another place I can search without labeling.
4. I do own my blog, and I can find any photo used there by going to the gallery.
5. I sold my DSLR which was over ten years old. Still haven’t decided on whether to buy another. They are so big to take when traveling, and learning how to operate one manually requires a major investment of time. iPhone photos are getting better all the time, and I can whip out my phone much faster to capture a moment.
6. My new scrapbooking method is to use Instagram and Chatbooks together. I put up about 50-75 pictures per year there and have automated a Chatbook order. In the last three years I have gotten three hardbound books for only $15 each. No printing, no buying of scrapbooks and placing photos in book. Automatic dating of each pic plus the brief commentary I put on Instagram. I always get a chance to edit these books, but I don’t do it.
Just in case any of this is relevant to others. Hats off to you for your more careful preservation!
You are a fount of knowledge here with your detailed account of how your curate and preserve, Shirley. I assume from your comment you didn’t pursue the photography course you considered when you moved to Pittsburgh. The weight of camera + the technical knowledge required to operate would be off-putting for me too.
A blog friend and professional photographer suggested that I purchase an additional service on iCloud, a belt and suspenders’ approach to foolproof preservation, but I’m not sure it is really necessary.
I am warming to Instagram, which I’m just getting the hang of. Having separate collections, as you have, is my next step. Thank you for all of this. My readers are thanking you too! 🙂
I did take the photography class and borrowed my son-in-law’s Nikon. It was that class that helped me decide to focus on the iPhone instead. I am also taking short classes at the Apple Store nearby.
I’m with you. When we go on trips, Cliff’s Canon dangles from his neck. Of course, he can handle the weight, but the bulk would be off-putting for me too. I like that you’re taking short classes at the Apple Store, another benefit of living in a large city.
I anticipate photos from Monterey Bay and environs soon. It’s one of our favorite spots on the west coast.
FYI. Do you have a word count limit on your comment section? I had to break this one up in order to post.
I’m sorry you had to comment in three separate replies to this post. I have noticed new quirks on WordPress on my end too lately. I have never intentionally put a word-count limit on comments, which would require me to change settings. Hmmmm
I am not a photo taker. My fiancé is trying to change that. All I can say is “good luck”! Growing up with a father who loved photography, we were sometimes the subjects of pictures. When he passed there were 5 huge boxes of photos spanning 80 years, very few of them were labeled. Hats off to those who label and organize!
Can I guess that your fiancé is an avid photographer with lots of photos of YOU! You say, “Growing up with a father who loved photography, we were sometimes the subjects of pictures.” I wonder if you felt uncomfortable being photographed back then. One of our grandchildren forms his mouth into a grimace when he sees a lens aimed toward him. He has been photgraphed since he was a tot, but maybe he’s more self-conscious now as a teen-ager.
Your dad’s approach to organizing photos is much like my mother’s: a big pile under the piano bench lid. Yet, I’m thankful she documented my early years with her little box camera with acetate FILM, for heaven’s sake. Thanks for commenting here, Ginger.
I checked my i-Phone and I have 1,358 images! In a way, things may have been simpler when we took photos, had them developed, chose and paid for the ones we wanted to keep, then saved them into albums. I find my old-school photo albums much easier to enjoy. It’s too easy to forget about all the thousands of images stored in the Cloud.
You have a point, Lynn. However, a few years ago I counted more than 20 photo albums and knew I’d run out of space of store them all. I’m guessing you do a great job of choosing only the best to preserve.
Recently I found two (skinny) drawers of left-over photos with film cartridges. When we moved I hadn’t sorted through them. Although I recycled most of them yesterday, I salvaged a few good ones which may appear on my blog soon.
As the oldest children in our families my husband & I continue to receive boxes of photographs as relatives pass on. This year we’ll go through them all, scan them, then save the best originals in archival photo albums. All images will be available on CD. We might even create some hardbound memory books. Hopefully by Christmas 2018 we’ll have meaningful mementos for each of our family members.
Interesting angle, Marian, thanks. I am under 500 on my phone, currently; but then I changed phones last spring. I use an external hard drive to download most of my large files, and will let the grandkids (or their grandkids) sort through them all after I’m long gone. 🙂
You are SO practical, Janet. Let the next generations be the curators. Why not. Ha!
My iPhone is both an “idea” prompt and photo source for blog posts. I guess that’s why preserving pictures is such a big deal to me. Your posts offer a different angle, which reminds me I want to go back and leave a comment today.
Marian — Holy Cannoli, that was a HUGE undertaking you just went through. Like you, I take a lot of photos (with my iPhone). Once they automatically transfer from my iPone to my Mac laptop (usually within 3-5 minutes), I fill in the “title,” “description,” and “keyword.” Our system is set up so they’re automatically backed up to our external TimeCapsule and to the Cloud.
The most prized photo I took this past year? I’ll be sharing that on the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day. Stay tuned…
You house, your clothes and digital devices – all arranged to a tee. But I’m not at all surprized. You are the most organized woman I know. That’s what makes your writing so authentic: You practice what you preach!
I’m not sure what I’ll do for my Valentine blog post on the 14th. I’ll be curious about yours, Laurie.
Pictures can pile up. I used to print them and put them in albums all dated and labeled. The past few years they have been kept in files on my computer. We still like to sit and look through our past holiday albums. I use my phone sometimes but usually use my Nikon coolpix. Since I recently got a Samsung tablet, I’ve been using that as well. My favourite picture from last year has to be the one with my great granddaughter standing beside the gravestone of my great-great-grandmother.
As you may have noticed in my response to Lynn, my albums have multitplied over the years. Fortunately, I could store them all in a special compartment when we moved. But now, to conserve space I must go digital.
I like that you share your collectionswith your loved ones. It strikes me that a tablet would be perfect, with the photo large enough for easy viewing. I vivdly remember that photo of your great granddaughter standly so proudly by the gravestone. She has inherited some wonderful genes from her great grandmother.
Thanks, Marian! We are a family of picture takers (as it seems is yours). We have photographs taken back in South Russia so can see what our ancestors looked like.
That’s a fantastic picture, Darlene. I am not surprised it is your favourite.
I try to limit my photos by deleting those that are no longer relevant, but I still have too many! I like what Shirley said about getting some hardbound books. I’m thinking of doing that with my blog posts because so much of what I post has to do with family history.
We women are usually the keeper of the family flame, the torch-bearers from one generation to the next. You are certainly no exception. I can’t think of any blog posts you’ve written recently that are not relevant to your family’s rich history.
More power to you, Elfrieda. And stamina to keep up the good work. 🙂
I usually forget I have a phone that takes decent pictures. I used it today – standing at the edge of a field enjoying sunshine on a chilly -18C day! I have a Fitbit too – but I confess I don’t always get my 5000 steps. And finally, loved your photos. I have slowly been sorting my on the hard drive but will need to buy an external hard drive. Many baby photos are “lost” on outdated computers buried in the basement. I was sure my Hubby would latch onto that item on my Christmas wish list! Ha! 😉
I just read you post today, actually laughed through the whole zany production. And I’ll be looking for that edge of field photo soon.
My Fitbit gives me a star shower when I make it to 5000 steps. It happened yesterday, but today I fear I’ll be shy of that: time to cover the plants; local weather reports say below freezing for the next to north Florida nights!
I like your last comment. Maybe I need to give your husband a talking to. Valentine’s day is coming soon!
Some day, perhaps in another future life, I’ll be able to label my photos. I think I want to use a meta data system like those on more professional apps. In case that particular software gets outdated, I’ll still be able to retrieve names and dates on the photos.
My goal is to put photos on 2 external hard drives, plus a cloud-based storage that keeps the photos whether they are on my iPhone or computer or not. I understand that some cloud-based storage does not allow pictures to easily move from one folder to another.
Hats off to Marian! She has spent many hours adding names and subjects to the file name. I’m sure it’ll pay off as she puts her writing and blog projects together.
(Don’t tell her but I may have some photos from earlier years that she probably doesn’t even know about!)
Thanks to you for commenting here and for helping me with the desktop organization. Some technology beats me!
I like your surprise ending . . .
Photography has always been a big part of my life and like the writing and everything else it’s gone by the wayside for a while. But this morning with fresh snow on the ground I was inspired and have promised myself that I would capture at least one image every day.
I work on a mac and they date and tell the location of every photo I take which makes life a bit better but still I have to take the time to really organize them.
Great post, Marian!
You are back in business, Joan. I love the beading I’ve seen in this week’s post along with the collage too. One image every day sounds do-able. I anticipate photos of winter melting into spring. Thanks for checking in today!
I’m afraid you’re in good company here Marian. I must surely learn how to be more organised on my smart phone. I use my phone for photos all the time and occasionally for short videos (which always surprises me when it works) … Your external drive for saving is an excellent one and if I think of any bright ideas I’ll let you know.
Please do, Susan. I got a few bright ideas from readers here today too. I enjoy taking videos also but always worry about how much memory they take. If I plan to post them, I’m usually aware of the short attention span of viewers. I believe my limit is about 45 seconds; less is better. Thank you!
I’m guilty of too many pictures and not sorting them or identifying them, etc. You have inspired me again! Thanks for posting!
Thanks, Anita. We inspire each other, evident from some of the commenters here.
I believe you live in cold-weather country. Maybe start with a small number with a cuppa something warm by your side. Thanks for reading and commenting again!
I love your heart to keep your memories safe and findable. After each trip to the grands I synch my phone to the computer, edit and delete ones I don’t think I will want to keep, then re-size to a smaller size and place in my IOS synch folder. These smaller copies then copy back to my phone and iPad. I have about 1,000 photos in 34 subfolders to make it easy to find my photos on the phone. I make two backups from my computer onto portable drives. One drive stays at the safe deposit box at the bank while one stays at home. I rotate these drives to the bank. All my data on the computer gets backed up to the drives. All my sensitive personal data is encrypted.
Matt, you have a failsafe and thief-proof approach to photo security. Ha!
I admire your meticulous attention to detail so you and your posterity can enjoy these photos far into the future. And the fact that you curate the photos by deleting some immediately will make it easier for all concerned. Bravo!
Thanks for chiming in with more suggestions for organization. 🙂
Oh, no. Another thing I haven’t been paying any attention to! But this one is just going to have to wait, despite your good ideas. If I tried to think about organizing my photos right now, my head would explode! Maybe next year!
Twice a year or so, I do go through the photos on my camera and delete everything but the “keepers”, which are very few.
I think you are further along than you imagine, Tracy. Deleting the duds is a great first step, especially when you end up with “very few” shots to contend with.
May 2018 be the year you focus on what’s most important in your life. Phone photos can certainly wait. Thanks for taking the time to offer your honest opinion here. 🙂
I agree with Shirley that as I look through our old albums, many of the photos are of poor quality, and at some point I hope to weed out and reorganize for each child. On my computer, I keep most of my photo files in folders that are labeled, and the photos that I have edited or sized I usually label, but not always. I only put a few from my phone on my computer file, (my phone does ok on photos but not as great as the Iphones, or my husband’s more advanced smart phone.
I need to get a new computer, which I dread, because the last time I took this one for “cleaning up,” the computer guy said, don’t bring it back again. i.e., get a new one. I got it in 2009, almost 10 years ago! I dislike moving stuff over or storing it on discs or hard drives but that’s probably what I’ll do. I love having quite a big photo library at ready access on my computer and can usually find illustrations right there.
Enjoyed this post and you taking me to Luci’s as well, for her original post on the topic.
You are well organized and resistant to change in technology, an outlook I can identify with. Yes, I too use my photo files as a source for illustrations. Stock photos online seem sterile by contrast. When a choice photo looks really bad, I send it to my in-house PhotoShopper.
I’m glad you clicked on Luci’s link. As her editor, you can appreciate more recent aspects of her life. Thanks for the comment, Melodie.
I enjoyed this post and the glimpse into your life through photos, Marian. And I ADMIRE your tackling of photo organization. That’s huge! I am not there yet.
Thank you for the compliment, Luci. Like the old woman in the shoe, I didn’t know what to do with my multipying mound of photos. I also worried that my iPhone may blow up with so many pictures stored.
I know you value photography too as an extension of your writing. You’ll figure out something in due time: There are plenty of great suggestions in comments here too. Thanks for stopping by again!
For the last year or so, I have mainly used my Android phone to take photos and to share them on Social Media, including my blog; so much so, that I sold my Nikon camera I used to have for that purpose. My Samsung phone stores the images by date, so I will always know when I took them. My husband is a photography teacher, so he has a more professional camera and on occasion I use his photos for my blog, as they look more professional. I have never used the Cloud.
I enjoyed looking at the photos you shared of the important or significant moments in your life last year. I would find it impossible to choose, but celebrating the good news of Peter’s tumour having disappeared with a bottle of Champagne in July is the most important and happy of the whole year.
Your husband is a photography teacher. Did I know that? Not sure. But that’s certainly a plus for you too as you can share. I rejoice with you viewing the occasion you celebrated Peter’s tumour disappearance, which I believe I saw first on Facebook.
A picture is worth a thousand words is my motto. Like you, it breaks up text in blog and adds visual interest of course. As always, thank you, Fatima!
Yes, he teaches Art, Photography and Graphic Design. Having a break from it while he recovers, that’s why we are travelling for a year.
Ah, I see the connection. Travel is so refreshing. He’ll be able to return with fresh eyes and zest for the tasks ahead!
That’s the idea! 👍
I have always taken photos, from the moment I started traveling. Which is a long time ago. First with film, then with a digital camera, and an added underwater camera when we lived on our sailboat and snorkeled a lot in our backyard. I don’t have an iPhone (or any phone), but I do have an iPad with which I take “quick” photos of the pets we are sitting for their owner, or to add to my diary. My “main photos” are still taken with my camera and stored in files on my computer (backed up in two additional places) based on their location. I use them for blogs (resized and captioned) and articles, calendars or gifts. One thing I do know: you have to keep up with “grabbing” them off the camera and organizing them! 🙂
Impressive, Liesbet. You have a lot of credibility when you tell us how it’s done having started a while ago.
I suspect you are a digital native, unlike me and other readers here who are digital immigrants, meaning of course we were born with old-fashioned technology like cameras with “film.” Your best idea: “Grabbing” them off the camera and organizing them immediately. Thanks for sharing here!
Hi Marian. Great post, and yikes for all that work. I ran into that problem a few years ago and thankfully made a better system and caught up before I had that number of photos. 🙂
I began labelling them as I saved them to my photo files in computer and/or to Dropbox. But the most convenient thing I’ve done is open different heading files in One Drive – ie: family photos. vacation with place and date photos. etc. That way every so often I clear out the space used to store photos on my phone and send them to their respective file folders in One Drive. Then I delete off my phone’s storage, but they are still there categorized in my One Drive app. 🙂 Hope this helps. 🙂 x
True to form, you are so systematic in your organization. Brava! I had not heard of the One Drive app. I hope other readers will note this and benefit.
Thanks for commenting here after such an exceedingly stressful week. I find doing familiar tasks often helps restore balance after trauma. Best wishes for smoother sailing in the days ahead!
Thanks for your wishes again, and glad to offer a helpful tidbit. You are so right, getting to visit the odd blog in between crazy time is like putting on an old familiar sweater of comfort. 🙂
A sweater, the perfect image to evoke both comfort and warmth. Sending warm hugs too!
Thank you Marian. <3
Our son Cameron quite rightly says to me ‘You have no idea how to use that smart phone do you ‘
I don’t , I just snap photos at random . I have buckets of them with no order what so ever . This is so me. At least you ‘KNOW ‘ how to do it ,I just get by .
I love all your photos Marian. Your husband is huggable and you are so gorgeous. I look awful in a photo and they say a camera never lies . That’s why I run a mile when a camera is pointed at me 🤣🤣
Yes, I “know” how to do it now, but I had to have outside help. Your Cameron sounds like a whiz kid, and you could tame his smart-alecky remark by asking him to set up a system for you – ha!
Thanks for the sweet compliments. Your sense of humor is priceless and unique. You are one of a kind, Cherry.
I’m glad that in the battle of Woman vs. Camera Device, Woman is gaining the upper hand! I commend your efforts and wish you the best in your continuing endeavors to whip your photo library into shape.
Thanks for the compliment and good wishes here, Rebecca. You too are collecting an impressive gallery of images for that sweet boy, Sage.
Good for you! I like your ten pics!
They were random, Fiona. But they did summarize a lot of December.
I wrote a long long reply but it never went through. So I’ll just say that I’m just like you – LOTS of IPhone photos. I send many of them to my computer and make Snapfish albums from them for each year, which is nice. But I haven’t done 2016 and 2017 yet. ;-0
Oh, no! Gremlins again? Thanks for your persistence, Pam. I’m not aware that WP puts restrictions on comment length. I certainly haven’t changed the settings, at least not intentionally.
By the way, you are doing just fine. I don’t have a single Snapfish album or a Chatbook, so you’re miles ahead!
I’m laughing. I have a photo mess, but on my computer and not my cell phone because I use a SONY Cyberspot and rarely take photographs with my cell. It just means the chaos is somewhere else, but I have a program called Picasa that helps me keep things labeled, dated, and organized–and I still fall apart in following through and cleaning up photos as often as I take them. My NC son who has a computer business stopped scolding me about it, so I guess he gave up. He has everything on my computer in a constant back-up loop somewhere out there in that mysterious cloud.
I haven’t begun going through Vic’s photos. Fortunately, he was disciplined about culling, but I have negatives and slides, notebooks of them labeled and organized. They need to be digitalized. Will it ever happen? I can’t promise a thing. There are so many good stories in there.