by Susan Caplan McCarthy
The number of photographs that you want to display is highly personal. Do you want a wall of family photos? Do you want photo albums or printed photo books? Or are you all digital but for a few framed pictures around the house?
How many photos will you display and how detailed do you want your photo collections and files to be? Will the same photos stay on display year-round or will you bring out certain images as part of your holiday decoration?
(I remember author Gretchen Rubin telling the story of how she set photos of her daughters in their Halloween costumes in special holiday frames. For a week each year she’d bring out this series as part of her holiday décor.)
Cathi Nelson, founder of the Association of Professional Photo Organizers created a system called the ABC’S to help people organize their images.
A is for Album
Photos that you’d set in an album or frame, physical or digital, are those that you’re archiving for future generations, so these your most important images. Also, you’ll want to backup these photos. Maybe you took 50 pictures at your child or spouse’s birthday party, but three images best capture the event.
Those might be the pictures that go into an album while another couple dozen images will get stored in a photo box or digital file.
B is for Box
Photos that you want to keep but aren’t part of those you’d consider most important to pass along to future generations, would go into an archival-quality box (for prints) or be stored digitally (and get backed up so you have three copies of these as well as your ‘A’ pictures.
C is for Can
Here is the reminder that there will be a lot of photographs that you’ll toss or delete. These images don’t add anything to your collection. In fact, keeping low-quality images may create clutter around your best pictures, making them difficult to find or dulling the special memories of a moment (Do fifty photos say more about a birthday party or dull the five photos that highlight the best moments?)
S is for Story or Scanning
Some stories tell a story, others are part of the story of your life. These tend to be the photos that you want to scan and backup.
The Association of Professional Photo Organizers recommends backing up important photos in three ways, such as – print, hard drive, flash drive, cloud storage, and online services. Identifying important images using the ABC’S helps you limit the work you’ll do to preserve your favorites and makes it easier to share these images with family.
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Susan Caplan McCarthy
I help people focus on what's important to them by guiding them through clearing clutter and distractions from their lives. I teach decluttering and organizing skills through articles; books; courses; speaking engagements; as well as virtual coaching sessions.