So you take a million family photos with your phone, am I right? And then what happens to them? Usually nothing. You may dump them into a folder on your computer whenever your phone is full and you need to clean it off, but then you never organize, look at, or display those memories. It’s a shame, and definitely one of the downsides to our phones being our primary memory recorder. Yes, it’s super convenient and we have way more photos of our kids now then when you had to dig out the old point-and-shoot or DSLR, but because there are so many we often neglect organizing and actually printing them. So I thought I’d share a few easy tips for keeping your family photos organized so you can access, print, and display them.
1. Create a family photo stream.
One of my favorite ways to share and keep track of our favorite family photos is by creating a family photo stream. My husband and I have one so we can share the best photos that we take on each of our phones whenever we’re out and about or home with our kids. Sometimes I would never see the adorable little gems my husband would take on his phone — with the photo stream we are always sharing and never miss seeing them. It is also an easy way to find and save our favorites instead of sorting through a camera roll with 2000 photos, half of which are blurry, duplicates, or just random pics.
If you have an iPhone and don’t know how to set up a photo stream, go to your “photos” icon on your phone. Then tap the cloud icon where it says “shared. Next hit the + sign to set up a new shared stream. Invite whoever you want! I have one with my husband and one with the moms from my playgroup where we’ve shared photos of our kids for 5+ years!
2. Delete as you go.
If you are taking 25 photos of your kids in a row hoping to get just one usable image (I know my kids never stop moving so there are so many blurry photos in my camera roll or the endless photo bursts!) try to go back and delete the bad and blurry ones. I often “favorite” the best one, edit it and rotate it the opposite direction so it stands apart from the rest, and then go back and quickly select and delete the bad ones. It is a fast and easy way to remove unwanted photos from your phone, that way you aren’t backing up all of those unwanted images when you back up to your computer.
3. Backup to your computer monthly.
An easy way to keep your images organized is to do a monthly phone backup to your computer. That way, instead of dumping 2000 photos to a general “phone backup” folder where all of those images get jumbled and lost, you have your memories organized monthly. If you haven’t been doing this, just go back and create monthly folders and then sort the photos by date taken and drag and drop them into each month’s folder — it will take a little time but is so worth it in the long run.
4. Dropbox is your BFF.
My favorite way to be able to access and backup all of my images is with Dropbox. That way whether I’m on my desktop or laptop, I can find what I’m looking for. And if anything were ever to happen to those devices, all of our memories are backed up online to our Dropbox. It’s also a fun and easy way to share folders with family and friends.
5. Do something with your favorite photos.
We don’t have to print out a roll of images anymore, which is nice since most of them were blah photos anyways. But we should print or display our favorites. For vacations, special occasions, and yearly documentation of my kids I like to create coffee table books. I’ve made them for our engagement photos, wedding photos I loved that didn’t fit into our official album, our honeymoon, and other family vacations. I also have one for each year of Charlie’s life (except I’m behind and haven’t done year four even though he’s halfway done with year five already) and plan to do one from Calvin’s first year as well. I really do go back and look at them. I used Blurb to create the ones of Charlie pictured and loved the quality of my books (spring for the hardcover, large size, and good paper – it’s definitely worth it!). I also love doing Chatbooks series books from specific hashtags on Instagram. I’ve made them for gifts and for us to keep showing our day-to-day photos that otherwise wouldn’t come off my phone. I like to display them in a wire basket so they are seen and we are more likely to look at them from time to time. You can get your first book free when you subscribe to a series (like I do for specific hashtags on IG) with code F7GVKEJX.
Since the last time I actually made photo books myself, I’ve had less and less time to sit and design my own books. That’s what I love about Shortcake — they design the albums for you and they are such wonderful quality! They are very similar to the wedding album we paid a lot of money for years ago but cost much less. All you do is give them access through your photos either through uploads or your social media accounts and they do ALL the work. They will send you a proof for approval and you can make edits. And then they send you a beautiful album (you can see two of ours and their beautiful linen covers in the photo above) that you can display and look at for years to come. They are truly beautiful heirlooms. You can order here and get $20 off your first book with code LOVELY20 and get a peek of mine below.
Artifact Uprising is another brand that I love that encourages you to get your photos off your phone and in a place where you can enjoy them. They make photo books, wall art, and more with your photos. My personal favorite are their prints, which I display in a print block so you can rotate them and change up your displayed photos frequently. You can see more about why I love them plus get a discount here.
I also love displaying lots of images at once with custom photo art from Minted. It’s a fun way to include lots of your favorite photos but still displays them in a clean and stylish way. Canvases are another great option. The important thing is displaying your memories!
I hope these tips help you get your photos off of your phone and organized so that you can preserve and enjoy them for years to come. Do you have any other tips or favorite ways you keep your family memories organized?
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