Oh Joy

5 tips for archiving your digital memories...
18 Feb 2015

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

Before Ruby was born, we barely took photos of special occasions, let alone our daily life. But when you have a baby, you get camera happy and all-of-a-sudden daily life seems way more interesting. Bob really got into photography from capturing photos of our kids, and he's since become pretty good at taking pictures.

With everything being so virtual these days, I love that we can capture memories so quickly and easily, but I find that digital photos can just get lost in the abyss that is your phone or your computer. I know how much I love going to my parent's house and flipping through old photo albums of our family, so I want to be able to preserve these memories for our kids to be able to look back at some day, too.

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

I know it can seem overwhelming to put together a book of all your favorite moments from each year, but if you stay organized as the year progresses, it makes it way easier and way more fun to do. And the end result is super rewarding. Here are a few tips on how we archive our digital memories...

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

1. Upload your photos often and keep them organized by date. One thing that happens to almost everyone is they get a back-log of photos on their camera that need to be downloaded onto their computer. You put it off one day, and then another, and before you know it, you have a thousand photos of your kids that you haven't downloaded. 

Since we take photos so often (and pretty much every weekend), Bob and I now make sure that the photos from that day or weekend need to be downloaded from the camera, edited, processed, and archived within a day of when the photos were taken. Otherwise, it will just build up and get too overwhelming.

We create folder for each day with year/month/date and then a short description of the photos. I use this method for my work photos as well which makes them easy to find and keeps them in date order. You can see the screen shot example above that shows a mix of what some of my personal and work photo folders look like.

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

2. Create a shared photo stream of your favorites photos. You need to have an iPhone and iPhoto to do this, but since most people do these days, it's so easy to share your favorite photos through a shared photo stream. We have one "flagged" stream for just us of our favorite photos from every download, one that gets shared with our parents so they can get regular updated photos of their grandchildren, and even folders that get shared with friends. It's an easy way to get the photos from your iPhoto straight to your phone without having to email it to yourself or taking too many extra steps to duplicate a photo for other uses. You can see what it looks like on my phone above. The nice thing is you can upload these photos from a shared folder to Instagram, text them, or email them to others. 

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

3. Archive the best of each month and file them into a "year-end" folder. I create this folder in addition to our "flagged" shared folder in iPhoto, but this is an especially good option if you don't use iPhoto. If you have a folder for each month ready and waiting for photos, then whenever you have a great set of images from a fun weekend or vacation, you can drop the best of's into the folder for that month. That way, when it comes time to put together a book at the end of the year, it's all organized by month and ready for you to upload in order by month.

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

4. Make printed photo books of each year and keep your layouts simple. So this part seems obvious since making a book to keep your memories is the end goal for what this post is all about. But I think a lot of people get worried about having to "design" the book or having to write a ton of words about what happened that year. You don't have to make it complicated. And to me, just getting the images in the book is what's most important. I keep the layouts very simple and mostly keep one photo to a page with full bleeds or minimal borders. I rarely create a multi-photo page (unless I'm chronicling a fun series of the same scene like Coco's one month photo above).

Sometimes I'll also make additional smaller books with family trips, professional photos, or other outliers that I can group together by topic and might not fit in our main book. For example, one year, I made a mini book with photos from our trip to Mexico and another with our trip to France. Since something special like a vacation might have 50-100 great photos on just that alone, I separated them out into their own fun, little book.

Oh Joy / 5 Tips for Archiving Digital Memories

5. Give extra copies as gifts. The one thing that gets my butt in gear to put together these books every December is to be able to give a copy to each set of our parents for Christmas. I know how much they love having something tangible to look through and show their friends, so that's enough to make sure that I don't get lazy about it and make those holiday shipping deadlines.

Okay, so if you're already behind on archiving but really want to get on top of it, I say attack it slowly and catch up by downloading photos off your camera, saving photos in folders, and keeping track of your favorites. Once you catch up on past photos and can archive as you go, it makes the whole process way easier and actually fun. And the best part is being to look back on all these moments that might have otherwise been lost in the digital abyss!

{Our books were made through Artifact Uprising}

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