Organization

Photography: Image Organization

by Jamie Sanford on May 19, 2016

To see all of my photography posts, click here.

This post is a collaboration with my husband Will, who used to be a scientist and now is a librarian, and so has been organizing information in one form or another for many years.  He came up with our photo organization system with the general mindset of not having to rely on any third party software to keep things sane and findable. I have taken this “tiered foldering” method and adapted it for other purposes over time, so I wanted to share it here.

It is simple, but incredibly effective, and in the age where our images mostly live in our computers, essential for archiving.

1. Within your main image folder (“My Photos” is just fine), create a folder for each year that you have photos for.

2. Within each year, create individual folders for each event. The folder naming is important, to make sure everything is in the proper order.

Naming convention is:

YEAR(space)MONTH(space)DAY(space)EVENT DESCRIPTION

Remember to put a zero in front of the single-digit months, this keeps the sorting correctly ordered when you add folders for quarter 4.

3. Within each event folder, I drop the images from that event. In addition, since I edit my photos, I create sub-folders to contain my edited photos, as well as those edited photos optimally sized for using on the blog.

I have also at times used sub-folders to sort out the photos that I feel comfortable sharing on social media from the ones I would like to keep private. I don’t believe in deleting any photos, no matter how unflattering or weird – they are all memories of a time in your life.

It is important to remember that you are not taking photos for Facebook. You are taking photos to remember something. Do not only take photos you are comfortable showing to that random dude from 10th grade English class. This only applies to photos you SHARE. Don’t delete!

However, to make the uploading to Facebook easier, go ahead and create a sub-folder called “Facebook” (or your preferred social network) and put the photos you wish you share there. It will be so much easier.

Additional tips:

  • If you have multiple cameras, or a camera and a phone that is taking photos, take the time to move the cameras onto your computer and sort them properly. I did not do this properly and I still have more files to go through. I do, however, move all photos from my phone into the Photos folder, in a file called “2016 05 06 iPhone Photo Dump” which will ensure that even though they aren’t sorted, they ARE in the correct location to be picked up by our cloud backup, and so they will be safe.
  • BACK IT UP! I’ve written about it before, and we now have a cloud backup service to ensure that we won’t lose our image files. Do not rely on a single location to ensure that your memories are safe.
    • Related: Facebook is NOT a dependable photo storage solution.

There you have it! As I mentioned, it’s pretty simple, but the difference in managing your photos will be significant – especially when you are looking for something from a few years ago. Happy filing!

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The Joy of Less – Book Review

by Jamie Sanford on August 19, 2013

Click here for all reviews on JamieSanford.com.

So, I might be a little bit of a hoarder. Just a little.

Actually, I heard Matt Paxton (of Hoarders fame) say on his podcast 5 Decisions Away, that most of us are a level 1-2 hoarder, so that made me feel a lot better. I also have watched many episodes of Clean House, which is like porn for anyone who wants their house to be free of all extraneous things. People who want surfaces that are just clear and ready for activities at a moment’s notice.

I definitely do not have emotional attachment to things like the people that you see on Hoarders (unless you count yin/yang jewelry from the 90s), and I’m also in no way walking through hallways made of trash – but I do have too many things in my closet, I probably have too many shoes that I never wear, etc. I started cruising around on Amazon for help, and I came across a book called The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life, by Francine Jay.

Am I ever going to be a minimalist? Not even a little. However, this book is an amazing boost to helping you start tackling projects. After reading this book, I did the first big project and tackled my own closet. I had a LOT of stuff in there that I didn’t need, but had purchased and not really worn and felt guilty about it. The Joy of Less REALLY helped me to see things for what they are, just things. I can’t get the money back, so I might as well as least free up the space. I took a ton of stuff to consignment about a year ago, all from that closet clean-out. I did try to do it again more recently, but with less luck.

Side note: My closet isn’t a walk-in and I have the worst shoe storage ever. It’s intensely frustrating, and I end up wearing the same shoes all the time because they aren’t available to be displayed in a way that would make it easy to wear them a lot. When I cleaned out the closet and went through shoes, I didn’t part with very much because I like those shoes, and they fit, but I don’t see them and then I don’t wear them. I will have a big fabulous set of shoe shelves one day.

For the most part, I am not following The Joy of Less as a set of hard-and-fast rules, but more a guideline and motivator for starting the process of decluttering my home. If you’re in need of a starting point, this is a good book to check out.

I would love to hear about your decluttering resources in the comments!

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Edison Message Board

by Jamie Sanford on July 26, 2010

I love everyday objects that become more interesting.  Here’s the limited-edition Edison message board from Uncommon Goods.


From the item description:

Stick big ideas or daily to-dos on this magnetized message board and watch genius strike! Handmade with galvanized metal sourced from inventor Thomas Edison’s Wisconsin phonograph factory, this board’s glinty surface maintains the metal’s original character with weathered spots and a historic patina.

Edison purchased the space in 1917 to make phonograph cabinets. When demand fell as a result of the Great Depression in 1927, the factory shifted production to children’s furniture under Edison Little Folks. Its historic doors closed in 2005.

Limited edition of 157; each to be signed and numbered with a certificate of authenticity.

Includes six recycled record button magnets.

The Edison message board is available for $75 from Uncommon Goods.

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