Pictures: Perfect or Purge-worthy?

Camera

I don’t know about you but the thought of losing my photos fills me with ‘The Fear’. Growing up, my Mum was the lady who was never without her camera, whatever the event, out came the Canon or ‘The Big Olympus’ *serious photo time*. Whilst we all used to groan, now as Mum myself, I see why she was always snapping away (more impressive was that Mum always got her rolls of film developed promptly then put the pics into an actual album). The memories that are evoked by flipping through the pages on a damp afternoon, seeing us all at the beach of a weekend, sandy sarnies, ice creams and body boards are, frankly, priceless. Dad was also a keen photographer, so we are extremely fortunate that as a family, we have hundreds of photos and slides to pore over.

Fast forward twenty odd years and having snap happy folks has clearly affected both my brother and I – he now plies his trade as a professional photographer for Transworld Skateboarding magazine in the US and me, well I’m constantly clicking away at my kids with my camera phone – often feeling guilty that I have a fabulous camera that rarely sees the light of day because I always have my phone to hand.

Back to the task in hand: whilst I’m not implying that we should all be regularly putting our snaps into an album (though it is truly a lovely thing to flip through on a wet day), what I am suggesting is that once a month you commit to decluttering your SD card. Most phones will automatically back up your pictures to your ‘Cloud’, certainly my android does over the home WiFi.

First and foremost, scroll through your photos – how many of the shots are blurry/ duplicated/ out of focus/ ones you’d prefer not to keep? Delete them, free up space.

Download your photographs on to your picture management programme – iPhoto for Mac and Windows Photo Gallery on PC. Once you have downloaded them, delete them off your card (scary yes, but be brave, you know they are on the computer).

Create a folder on your hard drive for each month, you can have as many sub folders within that month as you like, for example ‘Birthday party’ or by subject such as ‘Kids’ or ‘Beach’. Now file your snaps neatly within each folder, deleting any duplicates or duff shots along the way.

Now, you are nearly there, back your photos up! Heaven forbid your computer dies, taking with it all your pictures! Personally, the Nicholai use a combo of external hard drives and Cloud sites, but you could also back up to DVDs but these don’t hold as many pictures as an external drive or Cloud facility. (An external HD is like a giant USB stick that can store hundreds of thousands of photos, which you plug in to your computer via a USB port. Once plugged in, look for the drive icon on your desktop then drag and drop your folders across to it. A Cloud site is a secure place to store photos, docs, videos remotely that you can access from anywhere via your login – password protected for privacy. Popular sites are SkyDrive, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive.)

Share your pictures! Whether it’s showing off or sharing, let your friends and family share in your photos. Most Cloud sites have sharing capabilities, or you can use specific sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa which you can use for free. You could make yourself an album with online sites such as photobox.co.uk or snapfish.co.uk or even go ‘Old School’ and print out your photos and make your own album!

Whatever method you choose to do, do it – the heartache of losing your phone or camera or computer and all your photos vanishing doesn’t bear thinking about for me. Yes, initially this could be an arduous task, but also satisfyingly enjoyable. Like all these things, once the routine is in place, it becomes second nature. Go, take pictures, make memories…just remember to edit and file them later…

Mrs N x

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