Everywhere you look, people are snapping photos with their smart phone. They do an excellent job and are quite fun to use - quick, no fuss, and no extra equipment to lug around. And, for the average point and shoot type of photographer, smartphones do a staggeringly good job.
So ... what now? People have thousands of photos accumulating on their hard drive and no idea what to do with them. I've coined a phrase to describe this - hard drive hoarders. They are people who hold onto every single photo, no matter how bad, with the notion they might "need it some day". The same applies to files. I've seen computers so bogged down by thousands of irrelevant files and programs, I wonder how people get any work done. I've laid down a series of rules to help customers with their photo collection (slightly amended from my hard drive maintenance rules.
Rules for sane photo storage:
- Delete all blurry photos. Seriously, why are you keeping that out of focus photo of your friend's head turning away from the camera? Get rid of it.
- If you've taken 10 photos of one subject, pick the best ones and keep them. Delete all the rest. You won't look at all of them in the future. Trust me. Get rid of the duplicates. It will take too much time in the future to wade through 10 - 20 photos of the lake you visited 2 years ago. Pick the best, get rid of the rest.
- Don't be afraid to edit out the details you don't want. Have a potentially great photo, but some but head stuck their head into the frame just as you snapped the photos? Fire up your photo editor and crop them out. Win 8.1 has an excellent cropping tool, as does Android and IPhone. If you want to upgrade, download Adobe's free and amazing app Adobe Photoshop Express. It's a stripped down video editor that will allow you to do some impressive photo magic. This blog will focus on the tools that come with Win 8.1, but for those that don't have 8.1, Adobe is well worth getting.
- Put them in titled and dated folders. Seems obvious, but I can't tell you how many times I see customers who have all their photos dumped into one big directory. It's a nightmare looking for one photo when there are 2 or 3 thousand in one directory. Dates and locations on the folder titles is essential.
- BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP. Another obvious piece of advice, but this is the biggest tech support call I get when I'm
dealing with smartphones. Shit happens and photos get deleted. If your phone crashes or is stolen, well, bye bye photos. You can't replace them. Download them to your computer or to cloud storage. I also recommend customers store their photos on an external drive. Get a couple of USB drives and drag and drop the photos to it. Update it with your new photos.
If you haven't done the above, take time and start the project now.