We live in the digital age. No surprise there. While I like to think I’ve mastered some parts of it (e.g., typing, auto bill pay), some areas leave a lot to be desired, especially my photo organization. They’re basically in a digital version of the shoebox under the bed: all in one place, but not efficiently organized. And I’m not sure how to remedy it.
Currently, I view my photos through iPhoto and organize them into events as they’re imported. And that’s about it. Here’s what it looks like:
Pretty good, but not efficient. The events are sorted by date, but when I want to go find something specific (usually a particular picture of Oats) I have to cross my fingers and make a wish to have any chance of finding it. Single photo events are usually lumped in with larger events, so they get lost in the shuffle. And I can’t bear to get rid of photos, so don’t even go there. I always think of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when Blomkvist is searching for the missing girl in old photos and finally finds her image in someone’s honeymoon album. What if that had been thrown that away!? I know, cray-cray. I blame my dad, he’s a photo hoarder, too. (Love you, Dad!)
But really, what do I do about this? Here are a few options I’ve found, most of which are viable, but thinking about giving keywords to all my photos since the dawn of digicams quickly dissuades me from starting.
1) Keywords: Basically tags that you can give photos or a batch of photos so that they are more searchable. Good solution, hard to retroactively implement.
2) More specific events: Make an event for every little thing. That picture of Oats with a sock in his face? That goes in an event called ‘Oats with a Sock in his Face.’ Workable, but doesn’t necessarily create an easily searchable photo database.
3) Albums: Events in iPhoto work to organize photos into discrete occurrences, but sometimes one event can contain many type of photos. In my case, when I go out and about, I often have people shots, plant shots and craft/art inspiration photos, all from the same outing. Using albums, I could add all inspiration shots to a single album and they would also remain in the event from which they came. The more I think about it, the more this may be a frontrunner. An Oats album, a Plants album, and an Inspiration album. That should cover about 99% of my photos.
4) Something else: Picasa? Flickr? Who knows…
Ah, like I said, whatever I choose is going to take a good amount of dedication to get everything in order. I’m not exactly looking forward to it, but eventually it will have to be done. Hopefully it happens before 2020 . So, any photo organization pointers? How do you organize your photos??