How I Keep On Top Of My Photos

I've written before (in 2014 - good grief!) about the annual photo book I've been compiling since Steve and I got together. Rather than faffing around with big, heavy photo albums or taking the more modern approach of feeling guilty because my photos only exist on a hard drive, it's such a lovely tradition - pulling a year's worth of pictures together into one shiny, lovely, proper book.

But whereas, pre-children, I used to love spending a day each January going through all of the pictures and designing that year's book, since becoming a parent I've found it harder and harder to find blocks of time (or energy) to devote to it. It took me about a month to finish the 2015 book; the 2016 book wasn't done until April.

This year, I was determined to keep on top of things so all I would have to do, come January, was wait for Blurb to have one of their 40% off sales, upload the book and place my order (that's NOT an affiliate link, by the way - I just rate their service).

So, here's how I've been organising my photos this year:

File As They Arrive
Every time Steve or one of the grandparents send me photos, I move the email from my Inbox into a "Photos to Download" folder. I do this as soon as the email arrives, so nothing gets lost in the deluge of junk mail.

Send Them Daily
If there's a photo of Matilda which I particularly love, I email it to her grandparents straight away. I consider my "Sent Items" folder a (very short term!) back up system, in case anything happens to my camera or my phone! My phone also backs up automatically to Google Photos.

Download Regularly
I keep aside the first Monday evening of every month to do photo admin. I spend about half an hour downloading all of the photos from my phone, camera, emails and Messenger. If any of them need obvious editing, I get it done now. I don't tag my photos, but I can see how that could be useful - this would be a good time to do it.

Organise Storage
On my computer, I have an image folder for each month of the year. I also back up these folders on an external hard drive in case my old and ailing laptop dies (I should back up my camera photos to the cloud - but that's a project for next year!).

Design Regularly
On the third Monday evening of each month, I lay out the previous month's photos in this year's photo book (I have installed Blurb's BookWright software on my laptop as this allows me to have a draft of the book on the go for however long I need). This takes me less than an hour, even on really eventful months.

Admittedly, I sometimes have to force myself to sit down and actually do the photo admin on a Monday, but it never takes long. In fact, the slowest part of the whole thing is - inevitably - flicking through the draft photo book and smiling at the memories. Because it's such a quick thing to do, it's not a big deal if something comes up and I have to shift it back by a couple of days - I'll be caught up by the end of the week.

I'm so looking forward to receiving the printed book sometime next year - and I can't quite believe that it's not just going to be the "Sarah, Steve & Matilda" book; the new baby will be in there, too!

How do YOU keep on top of your photos?

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