The first 3 steps to get your photos organized:
I often get inquiries asking about my favorite photo organizing tools and how to get started. My business partner Rita Norton also gets these same inquiries…so we created the podcast Photos with Sherita exactly for this reason! The first 3 podcasts cover the first 3 steps to begin to get your photos organized.
Podcast #1: Gather Your Photos
Want a freebie? Review the show notes on the podcast page to download your Gather Your Digital Photos Checklist – a guide to all the places your digital photos might be hiding.
Podcast #2: Create Your Photo Hub
This episode’s freebie is: Create Your Photo Hub – tips on how to create a core file structure on your Photo Hub. Be sure to review the show notes on the podcast page to download today!
Podcast #3: Backup Your Photos
Another awesome freebie: Backup Your Photos – our favorite backup options for your computer AND your photos! Listen to the podcast today and be sure to read the show notes to get your freebie!!
My Favorite Tools
Below are links for companies that offer quality products and services that are helpful in managing and enjoying your photos and memories. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
I only recommend products and services that I have tried myself and believe that these quality products and services are useful. Some of the links below are affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive an affiliate commission. There is no additional cost to you and I appreciate your support.
Here are some things that will help as you gather:
Multi Card Reader comes in handy to transfer camera cards or phone cards with photos still on them.
External CD/DVD drive is great to have if you have CDs or DVDs with photos on them.
Multi Use Cable is pretty cool if you have different phones and you may not have the charging cable but still have the phone because you know it has photos on it you never got around to transferring.
Create Your Photo Hub
My favorite external hard drive for Mac
My favorite external hard drive for Windows
I like to put them in these zippered cases for extra protection.
Backup Backup Backup!!!
•For your whole computer I use Backblaze. It quietly runs in the background and I urge you to set up an account today. It will even backup your external hard drives if you plug them in regularly. So worth the peace of mind!
•For my photos and videos, I like to have them backed up on several clouds (go ahead, call me paranoid – I’m okay with it!)
I backup my phone and tablet to Dropbox and use it as a “shuttle” service to move the files to my photo hub hard drive. It copies both my photos AND videos.
I love these two clouds to view and share our curated family collection – both have annual plans that are very affordable:
1. iMemories is an easy way to view and share with my family and friends – especially videos which take up a lot of space.
2. SmugMug provides a beautiful viewing experience with folders and galleries for photos and videos (up to 20 minutes for videos).
I have my external hard drives (photo hub and backups) in a fire safe that is rated for digital media in my office.
Ready to tackle your print photos?
Scanning your print photos so you have digital copies as backup and to share with others is so worth it!
Epson FastFoto FF-680 is a high speed scanner that will scan photos up to 8×10 in size. The speed is amazing and Epson products are pretty much plug and play with Macs which I appreciate. Definitely get a dust cover for this scanner!
Epson Perfection V600 is a flatbed scanner that produces excellent quality scanned images. We’ve owned it for several years and it’s still going strong – knock on wood! I recommend you scan your photos using a minimum of 600 dpi found in the scanner settings.
FlipPal portable scanner is a small scanner that is perfect when you travel. Pop it in your suitcase and you’ll be able to scan heirloom photos that you may not have copies of when you visit relatives. This one needs a case too!
We use gloves to handle all photos while scanning. Be sure clean your photos before scanning as the scanners will pick up dust particles that are often on print photos both new and old. It’s also important to keep your scanner clean before, during and after scanning. Here are three tools we use for cleaning photos and the scanners:
•Lint Free Wipes
•Rocket Air Blaster
•LensPen Lens Cleaner
Speaking of dust, I love this new addition in my home office studio! I can use it on the floor and the desk that my scanners are on.
Cordless Lightweight Stick Vacuum
Photo Project FUN!
Once your photos are organized, digital photo books and photo gifts can be so much fun…
Nixplay digital frames are a perfect gift for yourself and your loved ones. I have one in my office and it “wakes up” when I walk in (motion sensor) and is such a fun way to view your favorite photos. You can load photos on playlists from your computer or your smartphone. LOVE!!
Mixbook.com has beautiful templates for photo books, cards, invitations and photo gifts. Their online software is easy to use and you can share your projects with family and friends.
Mpix.com has gorgeous quality prints and a variety of templates for all kinds of photo projects including photo books and gifts. Use this link for $5 off your first order.
Pinhole Press offers photo books and unique photo gifts including playing cards, memory games, coasters, journals and calendars. We love their chunky photo books and memory games for toddlers!
Project Life by Becky Higgins is a streamlined, modern way to make photo books. You can choose to use their traditional products or use their digital templates* or use the Project Life mobile app on your smartphone or tablet. I use the mobile app to make cards on my phone and send to my kids’ phones. Love the clean look and the kits contain journal cards to help people tell the stories!
WeMontage has custom removable photo wallpaper and is such a great idea for dorm rooms, apartments or any blank wall.
*Digital Project Life does require you use Adobe Photoshop Elements software.