Saturday, 26 October 2013

BlogtoberFest Day 26: Sorting Photos

Please can anyone suggest a workable system for organising photos?  What do all you photographers do?

As a result of unpacking all the boxes I have found thousands of photos (prints).  This is no exaggeration.  Ced was a keen photographer, as am I, and we used to have our own darkroom where we churned out literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of prints over the years.   And don't even ask how many images are on the computer as a result of embracing the digital age!  I also currently have all my mum's family photos of our childhood to scan as well.  It really is a massive, but necessary task.  I'll feel better for getting it done, I can enjoy the images and, by getting rid of the bulk of the prints, will clear a load of 'needed for other things' space.
I don't plan to keep the majority of prints as they never get looked at.  The best/favourite photos will be framed and put on the wall but the rest I plan to scan and display via a digital photo frame and then pass the original prints on to family and friends who may want them.  My problem is that I have never found a reliable system for sorting the digital images.  Is it better to sort by subject matter or by date?  I know there is no 'right' answer and that it really boils down to what works for me, but it would be helpful to hear what others do.  I've tried to get this sorted a few times in the past but have never found a good system.  Also, what do you do about backing up copies of the digital images, please?
It'll be a good job for the cold winter evenings and I plan to get started when term starts again on November 6th.  Until then I'm having a break and recharging the batteries.


  1. I store all photos by date, although with old and unnamed prints that might not be easy. I do year first then month then day, so they always list in the right order, so anything taken today would be 2013.10.26 followed by a name. I then store them in files, i.e. hobby, general, scavenger hunts etc. and then save onto DVD once a month. Dont know if thats any help, but once they are burned (twice) onto two separate DVDs they can be removed from hard drive, thus not using up too much valuable space, and stored in two separate places so as to ensure they are not lost - we keep one set in the house and the other set in the outbuilding.

  2. Gosh Joy you are well organised. I keep mine in date order with file name ie Truro, but then in a folder ie Places. This year I have two folders one Jan - July and the other Aug - Dec. Every so often I download them onto an external hard drive, some go on to a disc but mainly the hard drive. These are all kept together, so if we had a fire I would loose everything!! Not such a great plan. xx

    1. It's taken me several years to become this organised, and being married to a software engineer is a great help - he's always drumming in to me the need to back everything up.