About five years ago, I ditched my film camera for an upgrade to digital. I was enamoured with this new technology, and I click-click-clicked away with happy little fingers, downloading hundreds of pictures into every nook and cranny of my computer.
After a few months of this, I sat down to place my first big digital picture order. And I realized I had not the foggiest idea where any of my digital photo files were. And when I finally did locate most of them, I couldn’t recall–had this one already been printed out? Did I already download that one to the photo site?
This little photographic crisis taught me that I needed a system for keeping up with all these digital shots. Over the years, I’ve found a plan that works pretty well for me.
First, in the My Photos folder under My Documents (I know I’m talking Microsoft, so you Mac-lovers try to hold your disdain), I created a folder called NYD (Not Yet Developed). Anytime I download pictures off my camera, I make sure they’re going straight to that folder, and nowhere else. Then I immediately delete them off the camera.
I keep photos sitting in my NYD folder until I have enough saved up for a print order. I try to do this every couple of months to avoid ridiculously expensive orders. I upload to the print site directly from the NYD folder. Then–this is the important part–I move photos out of the NYD folder to their permanent home. In my case, this is a set of folders organized by year and season (Spring 2005, Summer 2003, etc.) If I don’t immediately move them, I find that I tend to forget they’ve been developed and I re-order them on accident.
It’s a simple little system (and you’ve probably all been doing this for ages and you’re thinking "System? She calls that a system? " but humor me, okay?) It has saved me much time and money having a plan in place.
By the way, my favorite photo printing site is Shutterfly. If you’ve found one that you love, please share it in the comments section!
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