Are you guilty of this?

I hear this often.  

"I lost all the photos of my little when he was born."

"I never print my photos."

"What do I do with all those photographs?"

"My hard drive crashed and my photos are gone"

So I have a few questions for you.  

1. Why haven't you printed them?

2. I know we live in a digital age but if your files disappear how will you feel?

3. Do you ever sit around the computer with your mom or your grandma and look at the photos from 2001 on your computer?  

4. How practical is it to have 10,456 photos of Johnny from age 0- age 5? 

I am just going to take a crack at answering for you, and then I am going to give you some remedies for your photo problems. 

1. You haven't printed them because duh... you're busy.  (if you're being honest you actually haven't downloaded the online gallery from last years family photos) You got the photos done but don't have time to create a Pinterest worthy wall gallery, shop for frames, not to mention you will wait 10,000 years for your hubby to have time to hang them for you!  

2. I know that you will be devastated if you loose your photos.  You will fret, and feel awful, and blame yourself for not backing them up.

3. The answer to this is NOOOO! I don't think I know any families who look at old photos on a computer.  Correct me if I am wrong, but most people I know pull out the old photo ALBUMS.  Printed photos in shoe boxes. Wedding folios. And sit around the table and tell stories about what  Dave did on Christmas morning that year, or what Mary said when she was two that had everyone rolling. 

4. The answer is having a million photos sitting on your hard drive is not practical at all.  I know it's daunting but make time to sit down and sort through the thousands of photographs you have and decide which are bloopers (out of focus, the 2000 selfies that Molly took when she stole your phone) Delete the ones that aren't even decent and then keep scrolling because I am going to give you some tips on what to do with those photos.  

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Ok, Ok nowwww... Let's turn this photo filled boat around! 

1. Trash the photos you don't love or that aren't tied to a strong memory.  That's right I said DELETE them.  If you are a Mac user you can simply use iPhoto (now just called photos) or if you are a windows user you can use your pictures folder.  I like to organize my photos into sub folders when I import them so that I know exactly what is in each folder.  I have a folder for each year and then sub folders within that year for specific events. Any you find that you don't want to keep, drag those puppies to the trash! Don't overwhelm yourself though.  If you sit down and do one event or year at a time then you have a better chance of sticking with it and getting them all done. 

2. Once you have the photos you love, invest in an external hard drive. (or two) These hard drives cost between $60 and $100  and are well worth the investment.  They serve as a back up for if and when your computer crashes.  This will prevent you from loosing all of your precious photos.  Here is the link to one I recommend and you can buy it on Amazon. (Hello! ship it to my door please) Don't try to get a huge drive.  One terabyte is more than sufficient.  You don't want to have all of your photos on the same hard drive. If you need more storage purchase another one. Just be sure to purchase the correct type for your computer. (if you have a windows machine you need one specific for that or a Mac you need one specific to Mac) I always suggest that clients also invest in a firebox or store their external drives or usb's or put them in a fireproof safe.  This one is a pretty good size or this one can be stored on a shelf or under your bed. 

3. Another thing that can help is to use a company called Chatbooks. This company is genius.  Not only can you make little albums of your social media posts (both Instagram and Facebook) you can also upload your camera roll from your phone.  The quality of these little books are not necessarily heirloom quality but they are pretty good! I know my kiddos love looking through their little books and learning about what happened when they were babies.  You can add super cute covers and each book holds 60 photos and they start at $8 each.  They occasionally run promotions and they have an app you can use on your phone as well.  If you select the $12 option you can also add photos from your computer not JUST from social media. 

Bonus - If albums aren't your thing at least print though a reputable company I always suggest Mpix to clients to have their own photos or digital files printed. 

4. Are you working with a photographer that helps you decide the best way to preserve your annual photoshoot?  If you aren't you should be! As a service based business my job is to help you decide what you really need, and allow you to leave what you don't.  The products I offer are designed to not only allow you to preserve your memories but also to look amazing in your home.  I can help you design wall galleries, create heirloom albums that will span generations, and get your home looking all Pinterest worthy!