How to Organize Your Digital Photos


Article by Kate Baxendale

Photography by Stock Image

Are you tired of endlessly digging through your phone to find that special photo? When's the last time you backed up your phone to your computer? In today's digital age, almost all of our photos from milestone moments are captured and stored on our smartphones. But as the years progress, it can be difficult to sort through them. In the article 6 Steps for Organizing Your Messy Photo Library, USA Today lays out a plan.

Step 1: Upload Photos + Videos to Your Computer

If you have a Mac, Photos is the default program. Connect your phone to your computer, open Photos, click Files > Import. Your photos will begin to upload.

If you have a Windows, you'll need to install Microsoft Photos. Connect your phone to your computer and open the application to import your photos.

Step 2: Delete, Delete, Delete

With such sophisticated cameras in our hands, we tend to take hundreds of photos that we don't want or need in the long run. Go through your uploaded photos and delete any photos that are insignificant (you took a picture of your car in the parking lot at Ikea last fall) or low-quality (your finger is blocking part of the camera lens). Delete any duplicates, photos of meals you ate (unless you're into that kinda thing) and other photos you don't need to keep.

Step 3: Add Metadata

Now that you're down to the photos you want to keep, you'll need a way to easily find and group them. Start by going through photos from a certain event or time period and add metadata (in Photos, click the little "i" button at the top right and enter a keyword like "Summer 2017"). Add this keyword to all the photos you'd like to group together so you can easily find them.

Step 4: Create Folders

Next you'll want to group photos into folders. Do this in a way that makes the most sense to you. For example, you can create a folder called "Graduation" that features photos from multiple graduation events (that are separated into sub-folders and labeled accordingly, of course). Or you can create a folder called "Travel" that contains sub-folders of photos from different trips.

Step 5: Save the Images Online

There are a few different ways to back up your photos:

Apple: When you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of free storage. If you use all of your iCloud storage, you can buy more starting at 50GB for $0.99 a month. To see how much iCloud storage you are using, go to Apple menu > System Preferences. Then, select iCloud to view your total and available storage.

Google Drive: Google Drive comes with your Google account and gives you 15 GB of space (the equivalent of about 1,500 high-res photos of 10 MB each. You can also use Google Photos that’s specifically designed for images. When uploading select “High Quality,” and you have unlimited photo storage. These images can be no more than 16 megapixels in size.

Amazon Photos: If you're a Prime member, you have access to Amazon Photos, which has unlimited photo storage. It also has an app so you can organize your photos on the go.

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