If you missed part one of this series, go here to read it.
Last week, when I talked about how to simplify photo taking, I confessed that I used to spend a lot of time taking, editing, uploading, and printing photos. I also mentioned that I’ve since learned to cut back. Everybody’s best system is going to be different, but today I’m sharing how I’ve simplified photo usage to help give you a few ideas.
Release yourself from the pressure to do something with every photo. Many of the photos I take simply get filed on my computer. I may or may not use them in the future.
Don’t try to play catch-up. I used to feel behind on various albums, scrapbooks, and picture frames that I wanted to make or update. I finally released myself from the feeling of obligation to go through all of my old photos and “catch up.” Don’t try to catch up – just start where you are.
Have a simple plan for the future. A relative told me that her big photo plan for her kids is to hand them each a few CDs (or whatever people will use 15 years in the future) that are full of pictures of their growing up years. No fancy scrapbooks, no jam-packed photo albums. Just a few small simple disks packed with memories and love. Oh, the simplicity!
Find an easy way to share photos with others. With smart phones being very common and having decent cameras, it’s very easy to just snap a photo at an event and text or e-mail it to the recipients right then. They’ll have a picture of a moment that you captured for them and you didn’t have to spend a lot of time doing that.
When you do want to have printed photos, consider making photo books. These are less time-consuming and costly than scrapbooks but have plenty of room for photos and notes. Plus, if you’re planning on making a photo book for someone else as well, you can just order extra copies.
Be intentional about the photos you decide to use. I made exactly one photo book last year. It was of our first family camping trip and we all had a wonderful time together so I wanted to preserve that memory for my family. Last year, I also updated a few picture frames that we have around the house and I posted three albums on Facebook of events I wanted to share with others. This was enough and it is a far cry from the dozens of albums I used to upload each year.
Remember that using less photos makes the photos we do choose to display and share even more special.
NOTE: I HIGHLY RECOMMEND BACKING UP YOUR PHOTOS! You could store them on a server, upload them to a backup location, or burn them to CDs. This doesn’t need to be done all the time, but make sure to back up your images at least twice a year.