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Digital Photos

Continuing on with our last category in Tidy 21, this week we are finishing up our photos with our digital copies.

For many people this is a simply huge category and can be very overwhelming, but you can cut it down into much smaller categories. First, as always, try and gather every photo – this may mean having a really good hunt for memory cards, hard drives, on the cloud etc.

The first, and most important thing to do with Digital Photos is to back them up! Not to iCloud (which is a synchronisation tool, not a back-up), but to a hard drive or to proper cloud storage. Then go through and just delete the obvious ones. There are many de-duplication softwares out there – I am not going to recommend a specific one, but one where you can set the limits yourself is a good idea. Other obvious deletions are blurred photos and photos of random landscapes.

Even this first shoot through may take a considerable length of time, but just keep it light, reminding yourself of the things that you have in your collection. The first time I went through my digital photos, I took them from 33,000 to 22,000 just by deleting these categories.

The next time I went through my photos was a bit harder and I was pretty much looking for the better photos of a group. So if there were 5 photos of almost the same subject, I’d just pick the best 1 or 2. Again, I wasn’t really looking deeply into these photos, just making the choices of the nicer ones. In that sweep, I reduced to more like 15,000. More recently I have been through my photos again and this time I was looking for those that Sparked Joy. Remembering the rules from last week as well, I reduced to more like 13,000 and at the same time I picked the very best out for printing. My printing is arranged in folders by year and each one has about 300 photos in it that are then printed out into photo books, but more about that next week.

So I don’t know if you can see, but following on from last week, I followed the A, B, C method. The As (about 5,000) are printed out in photo books. The Bs are the 13,000 left on my computer – backed up and safe. They’re there for me to flick through on my computer if I need to (and sometimes I doneed to), but they are not part of my books. Finally, the Cs have been deleted.

Now, I know that this can be an overwhelming category, so just take it steady. Remember that huge numbers of digital photos do not do you any favours. Any progress that you make on digital photos is a good thing. Even Marie herself did not tackle her digital photos until well after she finished the rest of her festival, so if it takes you a while, do not fret. It took me a pretty intense couple of weekends to get through mine too.

Finally, storage! I want to talk about the 3-2-1 method of storage. This means that for every photo that you have, you should have 3 copies of it, on 2 different types of media, and at least 1 offsite. For example, you might have a copy of a photo printed out and stored (in an album or box), a copy backed up on a physical hard drive and a copy backed up in cloud storage (not iCloud as iCloud is a synchronisation tool, not a back up). This is just one example of many variations that are almost endless. I really would recommend a digital and physical copy of every photo that is worth keeping, so all the As and Bs.

Make sure that any storage that you use is Archival quality, so no sticky albums! Everything should be acid free. Photo books are a wonderful way to share photos and there are so many different companies that do them.


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