The New Photo-Organized You!

You start off with good intentions to keep all your photos organized, but then you fall hopelessly behind. It happens to the best of us. Time to turn over a new leaf?

Here are some simple reminders that will make your best photos accessible for viewing, sharing and creating memorable keepsakes…

1. Get the photos off the camera as often as possible

  • Why procrastinate?  Get them off your camera memory card so you can relive the moments sooner…

2. Set your pictures free!

  • Delete the bad ones – really
  • It‘s been said that a good photographer never shows his bad photos. We’ve all gotten more click-happy to ensure we get perfect shots, but often forget to pare down to just the good ones. The bad ones only become baggage to sort through later

Clearly not a keeper (out of focus)

3. Crop and clean-up – just do it

  • It’s easiest to make your edits once and for all while on your computer. My four typical adjustments are rotate, crop, brightness and color. Rotate those photos – it’s only a click. How is the cropping? Am I using the “rule of thirds” to make my subject matter most interesting? How is the brightness/exposure – too bright or dark? And is the color saturation vibrant or flat?
  • On my PC, for most things I tend to use Windows software itself combined with Picasa software
  • On my Mac, I mostly use iPhoto, but Picasa is great too

Make your pictures shine!

4. Descriptively Name

  • I always use the event or subject matter combined with the date to name the folder and photo files. “Batch Rename” is super helpful to name all your photos at the same time
  • In Windows, I tend to create a folder for each six months (ie, “2011 – Jan to June”), then create subfolders for each event (ie, “Henry’s Birthday 1.16.2011”). In Mac iPhoto, I just use event names

Best photos

5. Upload & Share

  • Get them up in the Shutterfly “cloud” so they are safely backed-up and ready for sharing and doing fun stuff with
  • For Windows, the Shutterfly Express Uploader is a breeze. If you’re using Picasa, you can also upload from within Picasa by clicking “Shop” on the lower tool bar and selecting Shutterfly on screen that follows
  • For Mac, you can either use the iPhoto Export plug-in, the Shutterfly Express Uploader for Mac or Picasa “Shop” upload option

Any other must-have tips you’d like to share? Comment below.


  1. Earl J says

    Thanks for all of the very practical advice that makes it so easy to work with and organize our photos. I also learned some new Picasa tips. It is a wonderful program – I only wish they would improve the cloning. That’s an area that Paint Shop Pro is far superior, in my opinion.

  2. Sam F says

    In answer to the question… How do you Batch Rename in Windows?

    In the Windows folder, select all of the photos you want to rename (by highlighting or using Control A command) . Then, right click on the first photo and select “rename”. Enter the descriptive name you want to use then hit “Enter” key. Windows will rename all of the photos with that same name and number them sequentially.

  3. Joey says

    These are great practical tips, Sam. I always make sure to take pictures off of my camera card as soon as possible, then i delete those off camera, so I’m ready to start anew. One of my memory cards kind of crashed on me. I had been using it for about 4 months taking numerous pictures. Then one day while taking pictures, i get a message ‘card not formatted’. I couldn’t access the photos i took or the ones i took a couple days ago for the Daily December. Best Buy couldn’t get them off, so I lost a few photos. I did have a back-up card. I use picasa all the time. Great for storage of photos – easy to find. Great for basic editing. Some of my pictures are blurry and I found if i change them to black and white that it looks a little better. Or i may try something in – there are quite a few which I can safely delete.
    Great tips.

  4. says

    Getting those photos of the memory card as soon as possible with will make it easier to start organizing and enjoying them too. I break my year in photos by ‘seasons’… winter, spring, summer and fall….then the biggie at the end of the year Christmas… Then I can go back and to a year round photo book quickly and in order too.

  5. says

    Sam, I sure enjoyed your article! I take my pics off as soon as I can too! I love Picasa!
    I’m starting to get to a point where I only want to keep the pics that I feel are good enough for a Shutterfly book – the rest are just taking up space.

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