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How to organize your digital photographs

print your photos a 12 month challenge

Organizing your photos means finding them when you need them, being able to design beautiful books and gifts for family and so much more. The problem is so many of us have photos on our phone, our spouses phone, a point and shoot camera and maybe some on a fancy DSLR and/or GoPro. Even if you’ve managed to get all these awesome life captures in one place, you may shrivel with age and pull your hair out trying to find the one you want when you want it. NO MORE!

Here are my 5 quick tips to keep your digital photos sorted



Organize chronologically

There are so many ways to sort your image but after years of sorting my family photos as well as my clients, i still find photos easiest by searching chronologically . You can re-titled images by subject but then you risk having duplicate names erasing older version or having mislabeled image sitting in a different spot as all the rest.


 No2Be tough with the cuts

I recommend you go through your images 3 times. The first time to star, flag, heart or tag the ones you think are good enough to share or make you smile. Second time you narrow down some more by comparing the similar ones and keeping 2 or 3 of the best from that similar pile. You can keep the ones you feel tell a story or stand out somehow. I use Adobe bridge or lightroom for all my editing needs. I know there are other softwares out there but i only recommend what i know and love **** here is a 5 min tutorial for bridge  **** here is a 5 min tutorial for lightroom.


No 3Keep a best-of folder

I go through my images a 3rd time to select the absolute best of the best. That’s usually 10% to 20% of the original pile. These images I copy to a best of (insert year) folder. Then i make a second copy on a portable external. This third pile is the one I use to create prints, slideshows, family albums…etc… it saves me so much grief come November when i decide to make a family photo album as a unique and thoughtful gift for the grandparents!


No4Do a little at a time (schedule it)

Because i take soooo many images of my family and i have a hard time discarding any of them and most of the time i sit at my computer i am sorting my clients images…my own photo sorting had fallen wayyyyy behind. As with any important task you really want to get done you must schedule it . I chose 1 hour Sunday afternoons to sit at my computer with a cuppa and sort away. No emails, no FB or other social time sucks. Just the task at hand. It has made such a difference!


No5Set clear goals

Another great trick to sorting your photos is having a goal or vision of what you want to do with them. Scrapbookers are so good at this because they can capture and sort images with a design layout already set in their mind. It helps them choose locations, colors, and even which details to photograph and save.


Find out what your goals are by answering these questions

  1. What will you do with your best of?
  2. Where will you share your images?
  3. Who are they for?
  4. In what format would you like to see your childhood photographs? Video, magazine, heritage albums…
  5. Do you have photobooks your children can flip through?
  6. How shareable are your images presently?
  7. What is your budget for printing your family photos?
  8. Are your goals achievable realistically?


Few! That was a lot to digest! I hope these tips have been useful and inspire you to get your photographs sorted.

Please share your photo sorting struggles and triumphs with me in the comments below or on our FB group #printyourphotoschallenge


As an extra extra inspiration to enjoy your photographs i’ve create a 12 month photo printing challenge series.

Every month i will have a new challenge for you. They will be short, fun, easy and super rewarding. You can do one or you can do them all. Check it out here

The 12 month photo printing challenge

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