Hint: it’s a LOT. What will you do with your share?
Business Insider estimates that in 2017, 1.2 trillion digital pictures were snapped, with 85% of them being taken with a smartphone. Mylio seconds that opinion, with a conservative estimate that the average person with a smartphone takes 3 photos per day, adding up to 1.2 trillion photos globally. (They have some illuminating and fun infographics to check out!) The popularity of social media has continued to grow, and the number of photos will likely continue to climb as we go full steam ahead into 2019.
A thousand pictures per year are a lot to keep organized and safe! These days, many people don’t even bother printing most of their pictures. That means photo organization and storage largely becomes a digital issue. Here are 5 tips to help you organize your treasure trove of photos.
5 Tips for Organizing Your Digital Photos
1. Identify one digital storage device as a permanent digital archive.
I prefer a device that is in my physical possession, allows me to easily work with photos and can be backed up by a computer backup service. For many people, this would be their home computer.
2. Regularly upload photos from your phone or camera to your permanent digital archive.
Don’t wait until your device is full! You may miss picture-taking opportunities and you risk losing all recent photos if your camera/phone is stolen. When you upload images, take a moment to tag each batch with an event identifier: “picnic at Aunt Ferns house” or “back to school 2014.”
3. Check to see whether your camera/phone automatically encodes pictures with the date and location.
If not, add this information to metadata of your images, along with any additional memories or captions. Note: some people disable the GPS location feature on photos for security reasons. If you do, consider adding metadata back in to your photo manually after sharing images on social media.
4. Organize your images in digital folders.
I do this by year and month. (See Resources below for advice on organizing photos on your computer hard drive.)
5. Have a reliable backup service and/or plan in place for your digital archive.
I rely on Backblaze, a cloud-based computer back-up service, which is a sponsor of the Genealogy Gems podcast. Their service is only $5 per month–a small price to pay for continuous backup of ALL my data.
More Organization Resources
- Premium Video: How to Organize Your Hard Drive. Includes downloadable handout. Available to all Premium eLearning Members.
- Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast: Episode 32 and Episode 33 (2-part series on hard drive organization)
- Genealogy Gems Article: Dropbox v. Backblaze: Does Cloud Storage for Genealogy Replace Computer Backup?
- Genealogy Gems Article: What To Do if a Scrapbook Gets Wet (or Photo Album or Pictures)
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