Monday, January 24, 2011

What do I do with ALL these Photo's??

Memories...we love them. 
We want to frame every single one we possibly can. We get snap happy at every birthday party, every graduation, every trip around the world, and every "first everything"! And before we know it, we are knee deep in pictures, copies of pictures, doubles, triples, and boxes spilling out with all of those wonderful MEMORIES!

If I hear it once a week with a client, I hear it 10 times...."What do I do with ALL these photo's?"  Stop taking pictures?  No...  That's not possible. We love to capture life too much.  Photography is one of my favorite hobbies and I know the value in the 150 you take to get that ONE perfect shot! Thankfully today, we live in the world of Digital.  This is much more manageable than the old world of film and negatives and really really bad shots that we have to pay for. Life is improving in the department of photo memorabilia, but there are still all those pictures you took prior to the era of digital.

As I was perusing my own spilling over stash of old and new pics, I thought I'd share with y'all some of the ways I keep my photo memories organized, stored and pared down to a workable amount. 

1. Find a large space (dining room table, card table, utility room counter tops, etc.) where you can spread all those memories out before you to begin your project.
2. Go through each box and purge out ALL bad out of focus shots, old negatives (when was the last time you searched for an old pic on a negative?) and duplicates.
3. Once you have shaved off a layer of photos that are not necessary, begin sorting by category.  You can sort by year if you have labeled them well enough to know what year it is, or if you have a general idea of the time frame. Or,you can sort by groups (Travel, Family, Kids, Grand kids, Holidays, Archives, etc.).
4. Buy photo boxes or clear large shoe box size containers to store your photo's by category.
5. Label your boxes so that when you need that one specific photo for a project or to frame, you will know exactly where to find it.
6. Designate a closet in your house that is just for photo memorabilia. This will help keep those pictures in ONE PLACE and not stuffed here there and everywhere!
7. Set some goals for your pictures for the new year.  What do you want to do with all those memories?  Put them in an album?  Begin Creative Memories cropping parties? Organize them into cool photo boxes and use to decorate bookshelves? Frame and decorate a "Wall of Fame" of pictures old and new? Or simply have them all together, sorted and organized for the occasional project, family reunion, etc.? 

Something I like to do with my pictures is have a basket or a barrel or an old antique suitcase that sits in the family room full of random photos for family and friends to look through for fun. We have all these memories, but how often to we sit down and look back and have a laugh or two? 

The skies the limit on what you can do with all those pictures. But the hardest part is just to BEGIN.  Now that you have some direction, get out your calendar and set a date to stroll down memory lane! 

Let's make 2011 the year that we don't make "Making Memories" just another way to clutter up our lives.  Your pictures need a home too : )

Happy Organizing!


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