I’ve had several people tell me I should write about my own personal way of dealing with my digital photos. So here it goes…

Since I am over 50, I’m not wonderful at technology, so I devised a SYSTEM (Saving You Space, Time, Energy & Money) to help me keep my picture taking in check.

This is what I do for my family photography on an annual basis:

  1. I use a “real camera” to take my important pictures and yes, I then remember to carry it to special family events. I use my cell phone for texting photos and social media purposes.
  2. Approximately 3-6 times a year I download these photos to my computer into a file called“2015 Album” depending on the year.
  3. At the beginning of the New Year I sort through all the photos from that “2015 Album” file and delete any I don’t care for.
  4. Then I create a 40-page photo album from that file of photos. I actually drive to Wholesale Photo in Midland Park where I create these albums because I always need some technical help.
  5. After the digital project is completed on their kiosk (and this usually takes me 3-5 hours, sometimes I make more than one trip to the store), I order the hardcover album and pick it up several days later when it is delivered to the store.

Call me old-fashioned, but this system works very well for me and I am thrilled to give this photo album to my husband each Valentine’s Day. The whole family sits down and looks through every page rediscovering what the heck happened in our lives the previous year.

The final step in this system is where the photo album lives after we are done looking at it. If you go down to my basement you’ll find one small wall that houses all of the “Team Herron” memorabilia. There is a wide shelving unit along that wall and one long shelf in particular houses every photo album since my husband and I were dating. Except for a few lose extra printed pictures and some odd-size and professional pictures, there is an album for each year of our lives together starting at 1999. (I will be honest – there are two photo albums for the years my children were born because I couldn’t stop taking their pictures!). Anyone in our family can look at the albums any time they want. It is a nice sight to see my son or daughter pull an album off the shelf and snuggle into a cozy chair to reflect. It makes it all worth it especially when that someone is me.

From pressing the shutter button to placing the completed newest album on the shelf in our basement, this system works for me because it is the way I like to see my photos and it is easy enough for me to keep it up relative to my organizing skills. You might have a completely different mindset about the way you’d like to see your pictures and how you’d like to save them too. That’s okay, we all organize differently.

You might look at this picture and wonder what the other boxes are for because obviously, they are not photo albums. Two are for the odd-shaped photos and professional photos. The other ones are my special memorabilia boxes. For example, when my Nanny passed, there is a box with items I treasure from her life. I have a similar box for my husband’s keepsakes. There is a box of newspaper clippings that hold fond memories etc. The organizing skill here is that you have one home for each category of “special treasures” that makes sense to you and your family. I’ve worked with clients where we have set up “Memory Boxes” for each member of the family and when the children move out or when a parent passes, those precious containers are given to the heirs.

What is important is that if your photos and memorabilia are special to you, you design a system that works for you — and you put a routine in place. This way, your walk down memory lane is able to happen because you know where your photos live and you know how to find them.