Resolved: Organize and Archive My Photos. (Also. Here are 5 Ways to Organize Your Photos.)

I have a kid and a blog, so I have a problem. A photo problem.

Hi. I’m Laura. And I take a hell of a lot of photos. 

I’m snapping constantly with my big camera, iPhone, Instagram.  I also have tons of fun shots from photo booths like the ones Smilebooth captured of us at Camp Mighty. And then there are all the printed pics and negatives…sheesh. It’s an issue.

All these photos are treasures, but to be honest they are starting to stress me out. Photos EVERYWHERE. They’re totally unorganized. And I’m feeling kinda loosery about their everywhere unorganized existence.

I’ve been looking into some of the best ways to get a grip on all these pics so that I’ll be able to find and enjoy them later. Of course, the easiest option would be to hire a photo geek to figure all this out.

1. Hire someone to do this for you. Very tempting, but very expensive and the photo geek probably won’t organize them they way I would want. And he/she would probably judge me harshly. I can’t take the judgement.

So for those of us without staff, here are some interesting options I’ve found so far:

2. Shoebox

For those boxes and boxes of printed photos, Handmade Charlotte has recommended ShoeBox by 1000memories.  Snap a hi-res copy of a print using your iPhone or Android camera and the ShoeBox app.  Quickly correct any errors or funny camera angles using their simple tools, and click. Your photos are archived forever online and because you make the copies on your phone, you can also easily download them onto your computer.


3. ScanCafe

For higher quality scans of your prints, or to digitize negatives and slides, ScanCafe offers a service for as little as 22 cents per photo.  This includes super high resolution, blemish correction, and shipping back and forth. ScanCafe sends you a ship kit. You fill the box with your photos with printed photos, negatives and/or slides and drop it at a UPS store or dropbox, pre-paid. ScanCafe scans your photos manually, spending up to 3 minutes enhancing each image. They return ship your original photos and a DVD of your scans.


So much for scanning in prints. Next is organizing and archiving. There are a lot of options that range from easy with fewer features, to more complex with powerful features.

4. Picasa, iPhoto, Lightroom, Aperture

These tools are similar in concept but differ in features. They all organize your photos into libraries on your computer using folders, keywords, and tags. They all offer tools to edit your photos while preserving the original version. Once organized, you can share your photos through email, linking to social networks, or ordering printed books or cards through 3rd party services.

They differ in the power of their tools, the features offered in organizing and sharing, and the size of files they can handle. Picasa and iPhoto are inexpensive and designed for the amateur photographer, while Lightroom and Aperture provide sophisticated features for the advanced hobbyist and professionals. Find out more about these products using the links below:

5. Everpix

Once you have your photos organized, for pure archiving of digital images, Everpix can’t be beat. For $40 per year, the desktop app (Windows or Mac) will monitor and pull photos from your hard drive, Aperture or iPhoto libraries, emails and even social networking accounts like facebook, Twitter and Instagram and copy them to the Everpix servers in the cloud for safekeeping. Never lose a photo.


As I work through this project, I would love to hear from you in the comments if you have used any of these tools – what do you think?

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