I get questions often about how I organize my digital photos. I always respond that I really don't.
This is what I do: I plug in my phone or my camera into my laptop. iPhoto pops up. I transfer all the photos there. I name the event something classy and super specific like like "mid-July random." I flag the photos that I need to use for a blog post. Ideally, every few months I back up to an external harddrive.
THAT IS IT.
It's saved. But totally disorganized. Totally cluttered with junk images. And I could not care less.
I thought a lot about this. Why do I not care about keeping my digital files "clean and organized"? I have my business books kept down to every last penny. I am frantic about getting my blog archives set. My email inbox is empty more often than not. Perhaps most insane, I organized Ellerie's books by color!
But my digital photos? Eh. Ain't nobody got time for that.
This is what I have realized: I take photos to share them. Share them currently, with family, friends and blogland. And share them in the future with myself, Paul and Ellerie.
Photos, to me, are a form of communication. "Look how rad this sunset looks!" "Remember how happy we were here?" "Check out what Ellerie learned to do today!" "OMG, look at this mini tomato I am absurdly proud of!" "Do you see how I executed step one?" "I am selling this item for $18."
So the point of them is to use them. Share them online or via text. Show them to Paul when he gets home from work. Scroll through them myself in my only digital album that matters (iPhone). Print them and display them in our home. Get them into books and albums. Resize them for my blog or website. Those are my goals. The digital archives are just sort of a by-product of the actual purpose.
Because really... Tens of thousands of digital photos? I am so bored just thinking about those and I took all of them. Who is going to go through all of those? Hopefully no one! My parents have 4 big albums of 4x6 photos from our childhood (about 1200 photos) and I feel like they tell an awesome story.
I would so much rather spend my time making the memories and doing something with my images instead of archiving and cataloging them.
This was hugely freeing for me to realize. It encourages me to work on getting my memories off the computer and into real life. I hang love letters and photos my family in every room. I am in the process of covering our fridge in instagram magnets. I print books of the places we have lived and the things I love doing.
I don't organize my photos and it's okay.