How do you organize and manage your photos? I really would like to distill this pile down to a small enough number that it is not overwhelming and so it won't take hours just to wade through them. But I want to save enough...those cute facial expressions, those moments that make us smile, etc. We don't need to relive every single family gathering, but we do want to save a key number of memories and reminders of things that make us smile.
I have never managed to get my photos in albums, though they are organized by date/event. For the past two years, I have taken digital photos that I have not gotten around to printing (but would like prints of at least some.)
My struggle is with figuring out a good set of "rules" for which photos to keep and which to toss. I do NOT want to keep all of my photos. But I don't want to regret tossing any, either. (LOL). I have albums with acid-free sleeve pages, I have photo-safe pens for writing, I have good intentions... But I get stuck at trying to figure out how best to weed the collection, I get overwhelmed, and then I quit before I start.
I have four kids, and have photos of them all in varying stages of development. I have birthday photos with family, birthday party photos with friends, vacation photos, special family gathering photos, photos with key members of our extended family, photos of the kids with friends who were significant when they were tiny, photos of playgroups, photos of Halloween, photos of Christmas, photos of them with newly-lost teeth, photos with them holding prized art (moments before we decluttered it), photos of them in various combinations looking heartbreakingly cute, photos of them in dress-up clothes, photos of them in the tub, photos of them climbing in and out of drawers and boxes and baskets, photos of them in or at weddings, photos of old friends whom we are still in touch with, photos of them in snowsuits, photos of haircuts, photos of breastfeeding, photos of slings, and even a couple of photos of the cats.
And we don't even do school, or we would have first-day-of school photos, class play photos, graduation photos, etc.
To be honest, my kids have never gotten to look at most of these because they're not in albums. I keep wanting to find time to put them in albums but I am overwhelmed by the volume and cannot imagine how many hours it would take. A good "weeding system" would cut the volume down to manageable size. I have to do this soon, or else I will end up like my mother and grandmother, with boxes and boxes of unlabeled mixed-up photos in the attic, where nobody can remember who is who or when it happened or even what it was.
If I can come up with a good set of solid criteria to stick to for which photos to keep, I think I will stop feeling blocked from ordering prints of my digital photos. Frankly I'm afraid of adding to the already-overwhelming pile of prints, so I just haven't printed any photos in something like three years. I don't have time to waste on this project, but getting our photos into albums where we can see them is long overdue.
If you have a good no-nonsense approach to this, or can think of some way for me to dig myself out of this photo mess, I would love to hear your ideas.
Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)