I wrote about how I process photos back in 2011. 2011, as in three years ago! Some things I wrote about then I still do, some are different.
Today’s post covers everything I do with photos before I scrapbook them, using our recent trip to Europe as an example. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how I manage photos during and after scrapbooking.
Step One: Take the Pictures
Because, duh. I take pictures with my DSLR and my phone. On our trip, I used the DSLR mostly. I used my phone when I was at work, when I wanted to share a photo on Instagram, or when I didn’t have time to get the big camera out.
Step Two: Purge on the Road
I still follow this process. Never let bad photos get to your hard drive or cloud (if you can help it).
I try to purge on the camera and phone. On our trip to Antarctica, I purged the DSLR at the end of every day. On this trip to Europe, I was so busy working that I only purged my cell phone.
I only purge what’s obviously bad on the small screen. I have an auto-backup to the cloud on my phone, so when I purged the phone, I made sure it purged the backup.
Step Three: At Home, Load All Photos onto Hard Drive
When we get home, I copy all the photos to a folder on my hard drive. More detail here. This includes phone photos! I plug our phones into my computer and drag everything to the folder.
When we got home from Europe, this is what we had:
DSLR: 1624 photos
Cell Phone: 274 photos
Step Four: Purge
I mean really purge. This is such a chore but I make it a priority when I get home. If I wait too long, I’ll never do it. I don’t want junk on my hard drive taking up space.
I delete all blurry or bad photos. If I have 2+ versions of a photo, I pick the best one. But wait, I don’t know how I will scrapbook it yet. How will I know if I will want that other angle of my wine glass? I’m over it. I only save more than one photo of a thing if I really think I need it. I don’t think missing the other angle will screw up my scrapbook.
If I have the same photo from my phone and the DSLR, I will pick the best one.
After that purge, I go back and take a second look. Do I really need that back lit photo? It’s the only photo of the restaurant where we sat on the Golden Horn to watch the sun set? Here’s the thing: I’ll remember it. I have it in my journal. I’m not likely to show the crappy photo to my family or my Facebook friends. Out it goes!
After the purge, this is what I had left:
DSLR: 515 photos
Cell Phone: 176 photos
Step Five: Edit Metadata and Tag
I add a title to the “Title” field. I don’t bother describing each one individually but pick one that works for the whole set. I add my name in the “Author” field.
Then I tag. I tag the name of everyone I know in each photo. I don’t use facial recognition because I like my tinfoil hat.
I tag pictures that have food or flowers because I tend to want to find those later. Not sure why to tag? I wrote a post about it here. It really helps finding things later.
Step Six: Backup
I copy the folder onto my external hard drive and upload the pictures to a SmugMug album. If my computer crashes, my house gets robbed, or my house burns down, my photos are safe. I’ve been using SmugMug for 2 years and I love it!
Note: DVDs are not a safe form of long term storage. They will degrade over time and you can lose your photos.
Step Seven: Share
I’ll share a SmugMug link with people who are in the photos so they can download full resolution copies.
I may put together a Facebook album, a blog post, or a slideshow for our families.
For big trips, I’ll make a photobook.
Notice that editing and touching up photos isn’t on the list? I’ll edit the few I share, but I leave most of it until I’m ready to start scrapbooking.
That’s Part 1! It’s what works for me and is about all I can handle when I travel. The process is the same for everyday photos, I just take the time to purge and back up every couple of months. Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!