How to organise your own digital photos

This is a post I have wanted to write for a very LONG time.  It has taken me so long that it has taken me until now to face the fact that although I am super organised with my clients images, I really needed to spend more time organising my own family images.

In fact, it’s always been a deep, burning desire of mine to print as many images as I can (of course the good ones only), and put them into albums.  Yes, I said it. Photo albums. Not storybooks, Not digital albums, Photo albums.

There you go …. and breathe.

Dare I say; I think many of us can only dream about actually organise our thousands of photos taken on our phones, cameras, partner’s phone, and so on.  Let alone all of those old photographs you already have either in a box in the loft (yes, that’s me), or, ones that are already in albums. Oh and let’s not forget about the thousands of images already saved on your computer.  Or maybe you have some on CD’s, USB’s somewhere.  Please, stay with me now, it will get better. Hyperventilation is really not my thing.

Yes, I do photobooks, and occasionally, I’ll do a special album for a special event, but, the everyday stuff just doesn’t get touched… at all.

Well, that was until recently.

Hence, this blog post.

Here’s the thing, it’s actually straightforward, it’s just a matter of being organised and staying on top of it.

Let’s get started then.

Child Photography London

1.Create a spreadsheet/ or chart with months down the side and tasks along the top such as:

Clean and consolidate         Backed up       Named and dated    Selected for print      Printed     Put in albums

Jan

Feb

March

April

2. Clean and consolidate every month.

Every month upload all the images on the phones and cameras to one place. This could be iphoto or whichever method you find it easiest to view and sort through your images. This place could be on an external hard drive may be and in the cloud.

Once you have uploaded everything have a look through at what you really want to keep.  Only keep the ones you need and like.  You really don’t need 20 images of your little one blowing out their candles.

On the subject of consolidating monthly, if you are not already backing up your phone images to the cloud, you should be.  As for anything on a memory card, I recommend getting those images off straight away, don’t delay, it’s just safer.

3. Always have a backup. An external hard drive is perfect for this.  I have 2!

Enough said.

4. Naming and dating.

So you need to name the actual images and date them if you like and then file them into a folder.

For example:

2015>Jan>Evie’s 1st birthday

5. Select the ones for printing

Just pick the ones that matter the most, remember you are telling a story in you album so think carefully, don’t overdo it here.  You will have years and years of photos ahead of you to print so be selective without losing the story.

Put your selection into a standalone folder labelled ‘to print’ – genius I know.

6. Print your images

Now, you can do this monthly, bi-monthly, whatever suits you.

7. Put them in your albums

On this note, if you don’t have time to do them straight away, leave them in their envelope but write the month on it then slip them into a box or next to the album/inside the album cover ready to arrange.

The best part for me was buying the album. Oh yes I do love a handmade leather album with high-quality paper.  I always get 6×4’s because I can fit 3 on a page nicely in my albums.  I’m getting around 300 photos in my albums.

Whatever the cost in terms of time and money, you really cannot put a price on memories and seeing your photos in print without a doubt still the best, most visual and emotive way communicating those memories to the viewer by far whether that viewer is a stranger, a friend or you.

Sound like a plan?

It’s working for me, I have a ton of photos to get through, but I love it.

Now, please, go and bring your photos to life and create some proper memories that you and your kids will appreciate in many years to come.

SB x


I’m Samantha. I’m a North London Family Photographer and International Lifestyle, Portrait and Still Life Photographer. Mindful Mama of 2, leaning into conscious living. Lover of plants and light.

I create meaningful portraits that resonate with your soul. I also help conscious brands better connect with their tribe through honest storytelling and impactful imagery. 

Share your thoughts