About five years ago, I ditched my film camera for an upgrade to digital. I was enamoured with this new technology, and I click-click-clicked away with happy little fingers, downloading hundreds of pictures into every nook and cranny of my computer.
After a few months of this, I sat down to place my first big digital picture order. And I realized I had not the foggiest idea where any of my digital photo files were. And when I finally did locate most of them, I couldn't recall--had this one already been printed out? Did I already download that one to the photo site?
This little photographic crisis taught me that I needed a system for keeping up with all these digital shots. Over the years, I've found a plan that works pretty well for me.
First, in the My Photos folder under My Documents (I know I'm talking Microsoft, so you Mac-lovers try to hold your disdain), I created a folder called NYD (Not Yet Developed). Anytime I download pictures off my camera, I make sure they're going straight to that folder, and nowhere else. Then I immediately delete them off the camera.
I keep photos sitting in my NYD folder until I have enough saved up for a print order. I try to do this every couple of months to avoid ridiculously expensive orders. I upload to the print site directly from the NYD folder. Then--this is the important part--I move photos out of the NYD folder to their permanent home. In my case, this is a set of folders organized by year and season (Spring 2005, Summer 2003, etc.) If I don't immediately move them, I find that I tend to forget they've been developed and I re-order them on accident.
It's a simple little system (and you've probably all been doing this for ages and you're thinking "System? She calls that a system? " but humor me, okay?) It has saved me much time and money having a plan in place.
By the way, my favorite photo printing site is Shutterfly. If you've found one that you love, please share it in the comments section!
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