As a lover of photos I’m often asked, “How do you store you digital files?” Meaning, what do I do with them when I’m done. So I decided to go through my process for anyone who might care. I do not think by ANY MEANS I have the perfect system, nor do I use it all of the time. I actually had a dream the other night I lost ALL of my photos on my computer–then later that day, my computer was accidentally running in safe mode, showing NO pictures. I just knew the dream had been prophetic! Thankfully, it was not.
However, it was a good kick in the pants for me to get on top of my pictures and get back to organizing.
First the memory card:
- I upload pictures from my memory card every few days. I came very close to losing pictures from Olive’s baby dedication because my card got ruined. I had even tried to upload but somehow it got cancelled and I forgot to get back to it. Bad Aubin, bad.
- I don’t have the computer set to delete after upload.
- I format my card ONLY after I’ve done the following system just in case. It’s just not worth it to me to risk losing the pictures.
- I organize into folders the pictures by month & year.
- I go through and delete the really bad ones–if I don’t want to look at the picture now, I won’t want to later.
- I always save an unedited version of all of my photos. Sometimes I’ll put a folder of edits & unedited ones when I burn, but for sure the unedited ones.
- If I’m doing it often enough, it usually is a couple of months on each dvd.
- Here’s the kicker–I burn TWO dvds of the same kind.
- ALWAYS eject & reinsert your dvd to make sure it actually burned the pictures onto it. One time I did the double burn and it wasn’t until months later when I wanted to reprint a picture I realized the dvds were blank! Luckily I had uploaded them to shutterfly and I didn’t lose them.
- I mark in sharpie on the front of the dvd’s the month & year of the pictures on it.
- I store them in two different places. Now shame on me, since our move, these are both in our house–ah!! It’s killing me.*
- I then upload to shutterfly the ones I want to have printed.
- Print them out (I do this only a couple of times a year, waiting for shutterfly to offer free shipping). I use shutterfly because they’re who I started with and all of my folders are saved there. They’re good, but there may be other cheap ones.
So basically, they’re quadruple saved! The original files stored on two separate dvd’s, uploaded to shutterfly and they’re printed out.
Well, after our house burning down when I was younger, BJ’s in college, call me paranoid! And they’re just too important to me to lose. I’m well aware I can’t take these pictures with me to the otherside of eternity, but for now, I’m here and they’re a part of the heritage and momentos I plan on leaving behind.
Now don’t feel the pressure to use my system. But I would recommend at a bare minimum this–storing your negatives/digital files in a different location than your prints. What a shame to lose them both. Those photo albums that have a spot in the back for your negatives? STUPID! They were not thinking this through, people 🙂
There’s that! What do you do with your pictures??