Lessons learned while organising my photo albums

Recently I put an item on my to-do list which was to sort out my photo album drawer.

I honestly thought it would take about 30 minutes but it took forever, because photos! memories! Project Life! scrapbooks!

oh my word, what was I thinking? it always gets worse before it gets better

Granny and Kendra loved looking at the photo albums but how did all of that come out of just two drawers?!

 

This was part of the before. So not bad but I wanted full photo albums in one place and current ones in another space.

After – the complete photo albums

remember these?

After – the current albums and my “speciality” albums (my 40th, pics of friends, etc.)

Both drawers open …

So here’s the thing:

I thought I had excellent photo boundaries. I only print 4 photos per kid per month. And for Project Life, I print about 6 – 8 photos a month, which is really very little. You can read more about my process here.

Still…these children are 8 and my drawers are nearly full. And there’s a whole year – 15 months that is just missing. This is not a very big deal to me since that was actually our life at the time. I have very few pics once I went back to work after my maternity leave and then the pics pick up again later.

I’m now considering the number of photos I print and what I want to do going forward.

Something that I’m thinking of for next year is to just print the 52 project photosย of the kids together – that doesn’t cut down on the number but once I have ONE a week, I’m good.

But I will admit it is getting harder to get 4 decent pics of the kids every month. Maybe now is the time to get just one or two a month instead?

I haven’t finalised my thinking on this but I do know I need to cut down.

What do you do? Do you have any ideas for me?

PS I am not a fan of photobooks because of the expense, the time it takes to make them (when you’re not talented with graphic design) and the fact that you have to wait til the year is done to compile it. This way, I can keep up with my printing every 2 – 3 months, and it’s a 10-minute task to put the photos into the albums vs this big task I’ll be dreading every year. I do have photobooks from some old photoshoots.

Memory-keeping: the system that works for me

Since this month is a month I want to focus on relationships, I thought I’d write one post to show you all about my memory-keeping, and at least I can then link to this one instead of the 5 or so on the blog ๐Ÿ™‚

Cutouts

  1. I take tons of photos on both my camera and iphone, and use photos from both devices for my albums. I’m still partial to my big camera (Canon) but life is much easier with my iphone 6 since the quality of the photos is so magnificent. As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you. And I add, keep your big camera out so you’re more likely to use it.
  2. I do a 52-week photo project of the kids. This is my third year.
  3. I then choose 4 pics per child per month, and 4 pics of them together. Because I take so many photos, I purposefully choose images for that are not from our 52 project pics. One day soon, I’ll just print the 52 photos for our album but that day has not arrived yet. These limitations have given me a lot of freedom.
  4. Then I do project life. Here’s how I used to do it and here’s how I now do it.
  5. The key to successful memory-keeping is being realistic about time and money.
  6. And here’s where I talk more about money because all of this stuff costs money so the key is to think about what will work for you.

How do you preserve your family’s memories?

What have you found is the most realistic method for you, both in terms of time and money?

If this is one of your goals for the year, join me for monthly accountability coaching to get your things done this year!

On being a printer of photos

Printing photos | www. OrganisingQueen.com

I am definitely a printer of photos and when people hear this, I get three questions which I thought I’d address here today:

How do you print your photos?

I keep a flash drive specifically for printing. It’s even called To Print ๐Ÿ™‚

On a monthly basis, I have folders called Jan to print, Feb to print, and so on. When I do my monthly photo organising, I copy photos to these folders.

Then when I’m ready, i.e. I have more than 50 photos (because the price comes down a bit), I copy them to my flash drive and go get them printed. This is about every 2 – 3 months, but when we have holiday photos too, then I just get them done. I don’t like a long to-do list.

My personal preference is Foto First because I love the quality, but sometimes I do use CNA. I must also give a shout-out to Epson who have twice let me review their printer, and it is AWESOME. You can print about 2000 pics on a single set of cartridges. When I have more space, I’m definitely getting myself one.

Printing photos | www. OrganisingQueen.com

What exactly do you print?

This is the easiest question.

I have boundaries but they’re very loose… I print what I’ve decided on, and for special occasion months I print more.

  • 4 photos of Kendra
  • 4 photos of Connor
  • 4 of them together
  • my Project Life photos – the fact that I have plenty printed of the kids already means I completely indulge and print photos of sunsets and leaves, or whatever takes my fancy that month

The kids’ birthday is in July so I print 8 each of them in July, and 8 in December because of holidays ๐Ÿ™‚

How do you decide which photos to print?

I’m not looking for the prettiest photos of the kids but I am looking for story. My intention is that each kid will take their own albums one day, or they’ll leave it with us, and the point (for me) is to document the unique parts of the month/ age.

I’m also not looking for simply a chronological recapture of our life, like this is what we did in Jan 2016. To me that is a bit boring. I am looking for things that were different or things we particularly delight in (sunsets in winter!)

So when Connor was obsessed with lawnmowers, I have photos of him playing with his lawnmower. When he putย  his sandals on the wrong feet, I have a photo.

When Kendra was obsessed with a particular dress/ skirt, I have a picture of her in it. When they were in a climbing phase, I have pictures of them climbing in the sunroom and on the security gate.

I also have PLENTY pics of them screaming their heads off, because crazy as that is, it was indeed our lifeย  ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope this has been helpful to some of you. Please let me know in the comments if you have any more questions and I’ll answer them there.

How often do you print your photos?

{Blogging} Setting up photos for your blog posts: my 5 strategies

My blog has become much more photo-heavy over the last couple of years as my photography improved and I now seem to have a really good workflow.

We’ve spoken about how I organise the photos I want to use before but this is a step before that one – actually setting up to take the photos for your blog posts.

Here are the 5 things I ensure when I prepare to take photos for the blog:

1. Take a photo with lots of negative space so I can “write” on it.

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

2. Add a few supplies to “style” the photo better (I have no illusions that my styling is good, so don’t burst my bubble)

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

3. Use at least two different backgrounds initially til I download and see which looks best

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

4. Use lots of angles. If you want to play with this concept (it’s a really good creativity stretch), try take a photo of something from 5 different angles til you find the 2 – 3 that work for you (for me that’s straight on, and close up with some blur in the background).

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

5. Take photos from the front and the back, right side up and flip side. You never know when something you didn’t even consider looks REALLY good. This happens a lot with me.

Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queenย  Preparing photos for your blog posts | Organising Queen

Of course, the most obvious one is wait for good light. Everybody says this so I won’t harp on too much about it.

I’ve tried to bypass this step and I end up deleting those photos 98% of the time, so now, I just wait for good light and then go on a photo-taking frenzy of all my projects ๐Ÿ™‚

By the way, the photos in this post are how I packaged these photo cards for a gift.

What are your tips for me and other bloggers?

Merry Christmas from my family to yours

And just in case you thought life was picture-perfect, this is how it goes around here ๐Ÿ™‚

Declutter your computer – part 2

Last week we spoke about decluttering all those f-r-e-e downloads (including mine!) and all the email. I always try to play along with you so I also decluttered some downloads (4 MP3 audios and 5 PDF e-books).

How did you do?

I must also apologise – I forgot to mention that as part of the Office Organising Bundle, you get Conquer your Email which will definitely help you if email’s your problem.

So how do you know if email’s a problem?

The quick answer is if you spend more than 30 minutes a day on email … but why don’t you take the assessment below this article.

90% of people waste an extra hour a day on email that they don’t have to. That hour translates to SIX WEEKS a year. You read that right – six weeks!

Now onto the rest of the computer decluttering.

Photos

Now that we’ve all gone digital, it’s so easy to snap, snap, snap and then snap some more.

Download pictures regularly, delete the bad ones there and then, and save the rest to CD or DVD regularly to fr.ee up some space on your computer.

I only print beautiful shots (because printing is so expensive here) so if I wouldn’t want to print it, I don’t keep it on my computer. If I want to use pics on the blog, I compress them immediately so that they take up 50KB as opposed to 1MB. And I name them meaningfully so I can find them afterwards with just a few clicks.

Blogs

How many blogs are you following in your Google Reader, Bloglines or other feed reader?

Do you know how long you take to read all of those blogs every day? Take some time to go through your feeds and declutter those you tend to skim over, especially if you do this 3 or more times every week.

Get to know your comfort number. Mine is around 42 – 45 and I know when I start adding more and more blogs without deleting any, I start feeling more and more overwhelmed at the sight of all those unread items!

My coaching challenge to you

  1. Print out this post.
  2. Tackle one of these sections every week until they’re all done.
  3. Let me know when you do them.

Happy Organising.

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