Find Your Photos
Scrapbooking is nothing without the photos, but it’s easy to become buried under a pile of pictures if you don’t keep them organized. Use these tips to keep your picture collection under control.
The way you sort your photos will depend on the way you scrapbook. Keep photos that will likely go in the same book all in one place. If you have a scrapbook for each child, keep photos of that child together. If you make a scrapbook for each holiday or vacation, those should all go together as well. Within those groups of photos, it's best to organize them chronologically, since that's most likely the way you'll use them and it makes them easier to find.
Label every photo as soon as you get your hands on them. It's easy to think you'll remember who is in the photo and what is happening, but you'll be surprised how quickly things can blur with time. Use a special pen for writing on photos so you don't damage these precious mementos. You can also use sticky labels to write on and stick to the back of photos. Be sure to record the date, as well as who is in the picture and a small description of what's happening if it isn't obvious.
Photo boxes are great for storing photographs, but they can also be costly. You can also use old shoe boxes or clear plastic shoe boxes. Plastic shoe boxes are great because they seal well and protect your photos from moisture. Place an index card at the front of the box as a label to remind you what's inside.
The biggest difficulty that comes with organizing photos is often the number of those photos you can acquire. Don't be afraid to throw photos away. There's no reason to keep a picture that is out of focus unless it's the only shot you have of something important. If a picture is uninteresting, or if you have a million different shots of the same scene, pitch them. Don't keep anything you know you won't use.
Back them up
Pictures are precious, so it's important to have more than one way to get to them. Store printed copies, as well as digital. Back up digital pictures on a disc or removable drive. Several websites also offer online photo storage – some for a fee and some for no cost.
Tackle it head-on
When you let your photos pile up, you just create a bigger job for yourself when it comes time to put them away. To make things simpler, organize your photos every time you get new ones. It'll be easier to label them correctly when it's fresh in your mind, and it's easier to do a few at a time than it is to organize 500 photos at once. The same goes for your computer or camera – don't let them gather there either! Print out pictures at least a few times a year, more if you're an avid picture-taker.
More fun with photos