Storing photos

What do you with all your photo prints? I am often asked this.

If you still have many photo prints, and they are stored randomly, the best advice that I can give you is: sort the photos in chronological order, discard the failures, second-class photos and duplicates, and store the best in envelopes, folders, photo wallets or box files, together with sachets of silica gel (these keep the photos dry, and you can often find them in packed goods that you have bought).

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Organizing photos in your iMac

Around 2004, many people began taking digital photographs. So did I. That means that I now (2020) have 17 years’ worth of digital photos, about 40.000. They are in chronological order in folders in my computer (iMac – Photos).

Besides the date (year-month and in some cases day), the folders are also given a name, such as “Italy” or “Paul’s Exhibition”. That is my most important tip: in the photo application on your computer, make main folders by year, and sub-folders by subject, or main folders by subject (holidays) and sub-folders by country and/or year. For a trip, a special birthday or for example a sub-folder ‘ideas’, if you regularly get inspirations.  It is important to remember that when you start a new sub-folder, first clean up the collection, discard all the failed and second-class photos, and make critical choices about which photos you want to keep. After a time, tens of photos of the same mountain are nog longer of interest. Are you a user of the iCloud, then the photos will gather by themselves. And still then it is critical to clean up. Do it once a week or month, or after a special happening.

For smart organizing in Photos (Mac): If you use keywords with the photos, you can have ‘smart’ folders, which gather the photos with the corresponding keyword.

Copy all the photos onto two external storage mediums (USB-stick or hard disk) as ‘back up’. Once a quarter is a good rule. You can copy the entire Photo Library onto the External Disk via the Finder, or you can export alle photos to your Desktop , using the ‘Photos Takeout’ programme. Keep one back-up disk in a safe place in your house, the other in another place. See also my tip ‘Make back-ups as support for memories’.