Wednesday, August 4, 2010

organizing family photos and albums

Most people who read my blog know that I love to take pictures.  A lot of pictures. And I also like to scrapbook and create Life Art, its a great creative outlet for me and I love looking back on all of our memories.

I've gotten a lot of questions from people asking how I organize everything and I am finally explaining everything from albums to photos.

We have two ikea bookshelves in our living room that hold all of our books,

I like having them out in the open in a central location.

At this point in our lives, I have the albums divided into four categories: Roman, Family, Christmas and Week In The Life (still on volume 1 of that one, I just started last year).  I also have any mini-books that I've done in a basket below the albums (you can see the top of it in the top photo).

Because these books span eleven years, I also have some specialty albums, our wedding, my family history, Zach's family history, my high school & college memories, Roman's first year and yes, I even have smaller albums for the pets (keep in mind that we had the pets before Roman came along so I had some extra time on my hands).  You can also see that I've used several different types of albums over the years, the one thing that keeps everything "together" is the labeling system that I use on the spines.

I see a lot of software out there to help organize photos and to me it looks like it takes something that can be simple and makes it complicated (and I loathe complicated).

I organize my pictures like I organize my albums, we have a "media" folder with subfolders of "Christmas Album", "Family Album", "Roman's Album" and "Other Albums".

The Christmas Album folder has subfolders with the years the photos were taken (with a Christmas Past folder for random scanned pictures when I was a kid).  I didn't go digital until 2005 so thats when the folders start,

Our Family Album photos are organized the same way,

and Roman's photos are organized by his age,
The Other Albums folder is for projects like Week In The Life, December Daily, etc.

Then when I download my pictures from my computer, I make a folder for each event (Roman's Birthday, a fun Saturday outing, etc.) and then put the photos in the corresponding folder.

Last year I decided to try a December Daily album, something new and really fun, but I found that I was repeating a lot of the same things in our Christmas family album.  So this year, I knew that I wanted to do something similar to the December Daily...just not in December.

My favorite month is and always has been October.  I love everything about it, from the leaves changing, the pumpkins, the super fun Halloween decorations and the cooler temperatures.  And every year, it seems to go by way too fast.  So this year, in December Daily tradition, I'm going to be doing an Everyday October album - something that I am really, really excited about.

So that's it - my super simple, non-complicated system. If you have a user-friendly system I'd love to hear about it!

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