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How to Store Your Digital Photos Like the Pros Do

One of the things I’ve been dying to tackle with Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life is digital photo storage.  I have thousands (maybe even tens of thousands? I’m not sure – I’m too scared to look) of photos currently on my computer.  Not at all organized, not even a little.  I just haven’t been sure how to go about it.

Then it hit me… I have some stellar professional photographers on my team, why not ask them how they do it?  So today MPMK’s own professional photog Kristin is here doing just that – sharing her fast and dirty technique for organizing her thousands upon thousands of photos.

My tip?  Don’t get overwhelmed trying to catch up with photos from the past.  Start implementing this system for all photos from now on and catch up with the rest on a rainy day.

One of my favorite things about going home is looking through the old photo albums with my siblings. Each photo represents a memory. But how many times have we wondered… where were we? How old was I? What were we doing?

We’re actually lucky that our parents took the time to document our growing up in the 70’s and 80’s! One of the benefits of living in 2013 is digital photography and the ease of taking and storing photos.

And yet, it seems silly that one of the most valuable things we own gets treated so carelessly sometimes. Taking the time to capture a moment in time should mean organizing and correctly storing it.

Here’s the process I use:



1. Download my photos from my memory card. I don’t leave them on the card forever. It’s easy to forget what you’ve downloaded and accidentally format a card (erasing your photos forever). So, the day I take the photos is the day I download them.

2. When I download my photos I create a folder and label it. For example, if I took photos at the preschool open house, the folder might say ‘Jillian’s Preschool Open House’. You can get more specific if you want.

3. At this point I go through the photos and delete any that I don’t want (eyes closed, blurry, etc). This just helps with digital storage space. And quality is always better than quantity!

4. The folder is then moved into a folder for that month…so this one would be moved into January 2013.

5. I keep the January folder on my desk top so I can easily move photos into that folder as I take them throughout the month.

6. When January is over, I move that folder into the yearly folder, which would be Eldridge 2013. My folders go all the way back to 2000 when I got my first digital camera!

I’ve found this process to not only help with organizing the photos and cutting back on the amount of photos that I store, but it’s also easy to find the photos when I’m looking for something specific. I recently wrote about how important it is to document life here, because things don’t stay the same for long. So, take the extra effort to organize and store your photos. Your kids will thank you one day!


Oh, and speaking of photo storage and organization, did you hear?

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*Post contains affiliate links.



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Kristin is a former teacher turned children’s photographer in southern California. Visit her website to read all about her adventures in photography, cooking, and her love of style.