Welcome to week 1 of the Digital Photo Organizing Challenge! Ready to get started? Today, I’m so excited to introduce the concept of a digital photo hub, which is really the foundation of an organized digital photo collection.
When faced with the daunting task of organizing a mess of digital photos, you’ve probably asked yourself, “how do I start?”. In fact, not knowing where to start has likely caused you to throw your hands up in frustration and walk away from the task altogether. This week, we’ll start the journey to organized photos by rounding up all of your digital images and putting them all in one place.
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USE A DIGITAL PHOTO HUB TO STORE ALL IMAGES
In this day and age, most of us have digital images in multiple locations, including: smartphones, tablets, cameras, old and new computers, CD/DVDs, memory cards, and external hard drives.
So the first two steps in the digital photo organization process are to:
- round up all of those devices on which your digital images are currently stored
- create a digital photo hub, which from this point forward, will serve as the central location for your complete collection of original digital photo images
WHY DO I NEED A DIGITAL PHOTO HUB?
You know the general organizing concepts of storing “like with like” and designating one home for a category of items? Well, those same concepts should be applied to your digital photos.
When your images are stored across multiple locations, it’s nearly impossible to properly inventory, back up and organize your photos. Once consolidated inside your hub, it’s soooo much easier to put a backup system in place, keep duplicates from getting out of control, and find specific images.
DIGITAL PHOTO HUB OPTIONS
Your digital photo hub should live in one of two places: either on your computer’s hard drive or on an external hard drive (EHD). My hub is located on my MacBook Pro, which has a large-capacity hard drive:
Theoretically, your digital photo hub can live on a cloud-based storage site, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Here’s why.
Although I’m a huge fan of cloud-based back up services like Forever, I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t entrust your original set of digital images to any third party service. Companies go out of business, change their terms of service, and experience service outages. By choosing a digital photo hub that’s locally based, you guarantee that you’ll always have access to your photos when you want them.
GATHERING PHOTOS INTO YOUR DIGITAL PHOTO HUB
Once you’ve established the location for your digital photo hub, the next step is to systematically consolidate all of your images into the hub. I recommend creating file folders for each point of origin within your hub. For each device, copy all image files from the device to your newly created folder.
For example, I imported images from my old iPhone 4S into the “iPhone 4S – Natalie” folder:
I highly recommend copying the images from point of origin to your hub (as opposed to moving the originals), since you haven’t yet created your backup (we’ll tackle that in Week 3 of the Challenge).
After your backup is completed later on and you’ve double-checked that your meta data has been correctly retained on import (more on that in the coming weeks), you can choose to delete the images off of your various devices if you choose.
Need help keeping track of your photo migration progress? Download this handy dandy Photo Migration Checklist:
There are so many different methods you can use to migrate your digital photos from all of the various devices/digital storage media into your hub. If you aren’t sure how to copy your photos into your hub, hop onto YouTube or Google and search for the particular transfer you’re attempting to complete to find a tutorial that will guide you in the process.
Here are some helpful resources for the most common photo transfer challenges:
- How to transfer photos from an iphone to a computer
- How to transfer photos from an Android phone to a computer
Wondering what my method is for uploading photos to my computer? I use the AirDrop function to upload photos I take with my iphone and ipad. When I used a PC before purchasing my Mac, I used the Dropbox app to automatically upload photos to my computer.
Be prepared…depending on the number of images you have and the variety of “points of origin” they reside on, this migration process can take quite bit of time. Just take it one device at a time!
If you haven’t read the overview of the challenge, do that first before completing this week’s assignment.
Your Assignment for Week 1:
1. Collect ALL of the devices and storage media that contain your digital photos. Don’t forget:
- Old computers, phones, & tablets
- Current computers, phones & tablets
- CD and DVD back ups
- Memory cards and flash drives
- Photo storage sites, such as Shutterfly & Snapfish
- Social Media media sites, such as Facebook
2. Decide where your digital photo hub will live
3. In your digital hub, create subfolders with names that describe the photo source for each device you gathered during step #1.
4. Copy the photos from each device/storage medium into the designated subfolder within your hub.
Be sure to return here later in the week to let me know about your progress!
I’ve created a Digital Photo Organizing Tool Kit to help you along during the process, including a 10-Step Guide to Organizing Digital Photos, and a Digital Photo Organizing Monthly Maintenance Checklist (to guide you as you move forward after the Challenge). You can grab yours here.
This post is part of the 10 Week Digital Photo Organizing Challenge
Just stumbled upon the Challenge? I invite you to read the Challenge overview post first. Here’s what to look for in the coming weeks:
- Week 2: Create a photo inventory
- Week 3: Create a photo backup system
- Week 4: Create a core file structure for your digital photos
- Week 5: Sort your digital photos
- Week 6: Remove duplicate digital photos
- Week 7: Rename digital photo file names
- Week 8: Tag & rate your digital photos
- Week 9: Create a digital photo maintenance plan
- Week 10: Celebrate and share your digital photos
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~Happy Photo Organizing my Friends!