Organizing Your Kid Photos

organizing kid photosAt some point in everyone’s life computer technology does them wrong. We’ve all been there—middle of the night finishing a term paper or some other less than ideal circumstance—and the screen goes blank. Now that children are in our picture I know I have far more documents, photos, and videos that are priceless and irreplaceable.

First, know who you don’t necessarily want to count on. These days with social media there’s likely some trail of your existence. Relying on a site like Facebook is not ideal as they compress your photos (though it is possible to upload higher resolution photos and HD videos by following their suggestions). Furthermore, you miss out on those photos you choose not to upload for privacy’s sake, like that naked one of your naked son holding a sword, sitting on the white porcelain throne as he learns to potty train. If you store your photos on a site like Shutterfly, you can also download what you previously uploaded but the quality is not necessarily the same as your original file. So social media and photo websites are better than nothing, but there are superior options for long-term, quality storage.

Get organized. Pull all your photos together and figure out a system that works for you. I personally have a folder for each year. In that I have twelve folders by month (labeled, for example, 2016-01, 2016-02, etc.). I also have a folder for videos which has in it twelve folders by month. I prefer chronological, but you might want to save folders of photos by theme (graduation, silly outtakes, etc.) or family member (little Jake, Grandma Rose,  etc.).

Consider tangible backup. We have a portable hard drive that I update monthly. You can purchase a hard drive online or at most electronics stores. For $50 to $100 you can find portable hard drives with one to several terabytes of space.  I know others who still print out all their photos and store them in-house.

Consider off-site storage. This is the language of “cloud” or Dropbox that you may have heard floating around, and you may already (knowingly or unknowingly) have a cloud associated with your phone, pad, or email. Google Drive and iCloud are two of the most well-known.  Amazon Prime membership includes a cloud for unlimited photo storage. Microsoft has OneDrive and, including additional services, Office 365.

Some small businesses offer electronic storage but the larger brands can offer more space and reputable brand with sale/sign-up incentives. All of these offer 2-15 gigabytes free and some offer a trial membership of a month or more so you can try out their interface. Most offer both monthly and annual plans though some also offer options of charging by the amount of space you use or other features). Most can sync to your phone and computer to automatically back up your files and allow you to access said files anywhere you have internet access.

How to choose the best fit for you may depend on a number of factors. You may already have brand loyalty. Consider your current email or subscriptions. For example if you’re still an Outlook or Hotmail user, you have OneDrive; If you already have a Google email/account, you have access to 15GB of storage; if you have an iPad you have an iCloud accessible to you. Consider your device brands and if you want to sync your computer and phone together. For example, if you’re an Android user, iCloud won’t be the most effective option.

Last, sit back and enjoy. Next project, scan in all those old photos from back in the day when phones were connected to the wall and cameras had rolls of film. You know, in your spare time.

Lynette is a mom of three children from newborn to age four. She’s a dumbphone girl living in a smartphone world. 

Tags: back up, cloud, memories, milestones, photo storage, photos, technology

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