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One of the things our clients love most about our service is that it really does help to get all those snaps in order! They’re committed to page in a nice logical, sensible way – no falling out of plastic wallets, no glue to come unstuck, etc. But we know getting your photos ready can take ages (days, months, dare we say years!), so here are some little tips and tricks our photobooks experts say can help create a working photo library that’s easy to search and simple to update.
• A library tool (like free organisation software) can help wonderfully. But be careful about reading the fine print – Google’s own free Picasa software may be on the thrifty side, but the T&Cs include a little note about how the rights to all your photos put through the software then belong to Google! You don’t need library software to be organised, so that type of software tends to be better suited to professionals and dedicated hobbyists.
• Always create folders when you upload the photos. Don’t just dump them in My Pictures and send the shots you like to Facebook!
• Choose a folder naming system that’s consistent. E.g. “2012-12-25 Christmas Day” You should always use this naming format when making new folders or splitting existing ones.
• Tagging photos or adding them to categories – “favourites”, “holidays”, “swimming” etc – is one of those habits that might seem boring at the time, but put in the minutes each time you upload to build an incredibly effective library of categorised shots.
• Make photo books! Digital images are a superb modern development, but what about backing-up or archiving? Safeguarding your shots by printing a selection and backing-up digitally to another location means there will always be copies of your photos.
• Create destinations for the photos before you start sifting through photo book piles and old sleeves of images. These can be as simple as a dozen boxes with labels like “University Days”, “Family Holidays”, “Granddad’s Photos” etc. It’s best to choose your categories before organising.
• Only handle a small number of photos at a time so you don’t become overwhelmed and give up.
• If you want to cross-reference at a later date, you need to give every single photograph a unique ID number. Simple numbers can work fine, but it can also be good to use a letter to represent the category (“A”) and then numbers (e.g. 1, 2, 3…674) Once each photo has a unique ID, you can cross reference effectively, e.g. A34.
• Don’t feel guilty if you only get through a third of the pile! Organising your photos can be a wonderfully enjoyable activity, so feel free to pick it up and put it down as and when the need suits. Just remember to use the same organisational habits each time you sit down with that huge box of unsorted prints and label-maker!