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Organizing & Saving Family Photos



I don’t about y’all but I take a whole lot of photos. I take photos with my iPhone and I take pictures with my regular camera. About 6 months ago when I was looking for a particular photo I realized just how out of control my family photos had gotten. I couldn’t remember if I took the picture with my phone or with my camera, I couldn’t remember if I saved it anywhere or if I instagram‘d it. I also couldn’t remember the last time I backed up my photos on the computer- not great for someone with a bad track record where laptops are concerned. I took one whole weekend and organized every single photo- both on my computer and on my phone. It was not a fun weekend but it was necessary.




First I want to share how I organized the photos on my phone because it was easier. I learned the hard way to save your photos to multiple locations. I used to just save my phone photos in the iCloud but then my file was corrupted and I lost 1000 pictures. Then I switched to an online storage service but realized my photos were being randomly deleted. Now I have a 3 step method for storing and saving my phone photos.


1. On the first day of every month I go through every picture taken the previous month. I delete the ones I don’t want to keep or save.


2. Next I upload the ones I want to save to a new album on my family photobucket account via the photobucket app on my iPhone. I normally have 100 or so photos to save and it takes me around 10 minutes to complete. Once I’m done with photobucket I upload the same photos to a new album on shutterfly via the app on my phone. This takes no time at all because I can bulk upload and it will work in the background while I’m busy doing something else.


3. I pick the photos I want to share with my family and add them to our shared family photo stream. I created one photo stream and added Matt’s parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Then I added my parents, sister, aunts, cousins, and a few friends. I can add photos to the stream and it will pop up a message on their phones for them to see the new photos. It’s easy, fast, and I don’t have to worry about who is seeing the photos.


These 3 steps make it easy for me to free up space on my phone when I need to because I can delete photos without worrying about whether or not I’ve saved them somewhere else. I don’t save iPhone photos to my computer since I can access them all online or via the apps whenever I need them. So once a month I spend a grand total of about 20 minutes to organize and save my iPhone photos. It’s worth every single second.


The photos on my computer also get organized once a month but it’s much faster. When I upload a new batch of photos from my camera to the computer I try to do the bulk of the work right then. I have my photos organized into main folders by year, then separated into months. In each monthly folder I have sub-folders created for specific events. For example- Zoey’s birthday party would have a whole sub-folder. That makes it so much easier when I’m searching for a picture from a specific event.


For my blog photos, I have a main folder and then sub-folders as well. For example- inside my main blog folder I have a folder for recipes. Inside that sub-folder I have more sub-folders for each recipe- Lemon Lava Cake, 3 Berry Cobbler, Loaded Chicken Tater Tot Casserole…they all have their own folder. I do the same thing with projects. This way if I ever need to re-upload the photos to the blog I can find them easily.


Every time I upload and organize a new batch of photos to my computer I save them to my external hard drive. I learned the hard way to save them immediately. Then at the end of the month I bulk upload the photos into new folders on both photobucket and shutterfly.


I know it seems like overkill and you’re probably shaking your head right now but for me, there is nothing more precious than these memories of my kids childhoods. I don’t want to take any chance, no matter how small, that something will happen and I will lose the photos. I’ve had to pay to have photos recovered off a hard drive before and it was well over $200 by the time they were all recovered. I’d rather spend an hour once a month to ensure they are safe and I can find them when I need them.


You can see all the posts in my 31 Day Series HERE. New posts are added daily.




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