Ever noticed the difference between your camera roll pre-kids vs. your camera roll post-kids? You are not alone in this parenting phenomenon. Most of us become the “Parent Paparazzi.” We snap away, document all the days, and follow our kids around, like the superstars we know they are. All of that leads to the exponential growth you’ve noticed in the number of photos (and don’t forget videos!) you take in a year. This is precisely what causes that bursting camera roll and the overwhelmed feeling that comes with it.
I’ve not even mentioned yet the other sources of “familial documentation” you may have floating around on various computers, clouds, flash drives, photographer galleries, and digital SLR cameras. Between our phone’s camera roll and everything else we use to capture our best moments, this can quickly end up in chaos and clutter. If you’re at this stage, you might be feeling out of control and worried you might lose some of your memories.
Not to scare you, but your worry is legit. When you’re unsure where to find your photos and videos or do not have a solid plan in place to organize and back them up correctly, it is more likely that you will lose them.
But, never fear! I’m going to share with you the first steps to tame your unruly camera roll. Let’s get your photos and videos organized and in control.
Step 1: Make a List of your Photo Sources
Yep, it’s that simple! Make a quick list of all your memory sources. I listed some above, but here are some more to get your juices flowing.
- Your work computer
- An old cloud account you don’t use any more
- Some random flash drives
- Maybe Shutterfly holds some valuables from your last random photo project
Put your thinking cap on and write them all down on a piece of paper. Add usernames and passwords where applicable. I’ve created a handy worksheet for this. Feel free to grab it and make as many copies as you need to complete your list! No judgement here!
Step 2: Centralize your List into a Memory Hub
The next step is to centralize all the sources on your list to one location. This one location is a good old fashioned external hard drive (at least 2TB). We will call it your Memory Hub. Create folders inside your Memory Hub that match all the sources on your list. Then simply copy your photos and videos from those sources into your labeled folders. I talk about this step extensively in a short guide I created called The Simple Secret to Organized Photos. It even contains a screenshot of my very own external hard drive, if you’re curious!
Step 3: Backup to the Cloud
Now that you’ve moved everything to one place, you will want to backup your external hard drive to a cloud. This might prompt a big question for you. Like, which cloud should I choose? Due to my line of work, the answer elicits some strong (and detailed) opinions from yours truly. However, I’ll spare you those details and get right to it. My recommendation is to use Amazon Photos. There are many reasons why I choose this cloud, that I won’t bore you with here. What is essential for you to know, is that Amazon Photos will keep your Memory Hub folders intact. At this stage, this is what you want. Plus, the absolute best part is that you can share storage with your spouse or partner. Sharing storage enables you to centralize all of your family photos and videos and makes it easy to tackle a photo project.
The hidden benefits of organized photos
With your bursting camera roll and other photo sources organized and backed up correctly, you’ll benefit in three unexpected ways:
1. You’ll discover memories you forgot you captured. Because of that, you will relive some awesome moments that might have otherwise been lost.
2. You’ll experience peace and calm knowing your memories are safe.
3. You’ll enjoy a renewed inspiration to actually do something with your photos and videos. Showcasing your memories gives you the chance to share your family’s best stories, which is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to get off the screens and connect!
Nichole Healy is a Certified Photo Organizer. She is the Founder of Memory My Way, where she helps “The Parent Paparazzi” rescue their memories from the cloud. At Memory My Way, families are paired with a professional Designer, who creates custom, high-end family photo books for them. A service that saves families tons of precious time. To learn more about how Memory My Way can help you, go here.