Are You Drowning in Digital Photos, too?

Photo Collage PileAre you afflicted with DPD or Digital Photo Overload? I am. But I’m ready to tackle it. I love that we live in the digital age and can snap photos anywhere and everywhere. The problem lies in managing the volume so we can cherish and share the moments we capture on film {shout out if you’re old enough to have captured photos on actual film}. You can’t do that if you can’t find your photos.

For various reasons over the past ten years or so, I stopped getting photos printed. My “good” camera was bulky and slow to capture moments and I just stopped taking it out for anything but special occasions. Eventually, I stopped even doing that and started counting on friends and family to share their photos with me. I was frustrated but it wasn’t too high on my list of problems to solve, so I continued on that path for a while.

I was reminded of the pain any time I visited friends or family who did a fabulous job of not only capturing the special moments but displaying them as well, like my sister-in-law. I was/am envious of how she is able to incorporate her photos into her decor and love the photos of my nephews that she shares {well, maybe not 300 at a time}. Still, I did nothing.

And then, my son was born. Not only did I want to capture the fleeting moments of his infancy and childhood but the requests for new photos of him from family came at a fever pitch. {Let’s face it, no one really cares about pictures of my husband and I.} Suddenly, I was taking more than one hundred pictures each month. Then, I got an iPhone and I was taking even more pictures. You’re with me, right?

So now the problem was that I wasn’t downloading, uploading and sharing them with family. And while I am capturing more photos, I’m not doing anything to document or display them in a meaningful way.

The first problem I set out to tackle was sharing and backup. I currently use Carbonite to backup my computer files, which covers my photos stored on my pc, so that’s covered. However, I know it’s smart to have redundant backup so I included that on my wish list when searching for a photo sharing service.

Here’s what I wanted/needed in a photo sharing service:

  • Easy to use- I don’t want to spend all of my free time struggling with and learning how to use something new so it needs to be simple
  • Has to work- It simply has to work when I’m able to dedicate the time. I can’t be waiting forever for files to upload.
  • Ability to store/share originals- This is a biggie! So many photo sharing sites don’t share or allow you to download the original. You have to place an order to get that…even if you uploaded it to your own account. I wanted anyone I shared with to have access to the original for printing or their own photo projects.
  • Stores and shares photos and videos privately
  • Provide a straightforward option for friends and family who want to get photos printed
  • Provides inexpensive storage options- The fact of the matter is that I can’t afford to have twenty different monthly/annual recurring expenses for photos, notes, email, documents, etc. even if it’s nominal.
  • Serve as an additional backup

I finally settled on Flickr. Here’s why:

  • Flickr has been around for a while- When I want to invest myself in a software service, longevity is something I take very seriously. I don’t want to jump in with both feet and then have the service go away in three months.
  • They offer a ton of free storage- Currently, you can get an acount with 1 Terabyte of free storage. That’s a lot of bytes!
  • I can share the originals- There is a setting where you can share the original file with friends and/or family. They can then download or have the photos printed whereever they choose.
  • Ease of use- This is the one wishlist item I compromised on a little bit. I’m pretty tech savvy and I find the site a bit confusing to use but since it had everything else I was looking for nailed, I chose it anyway. It just requires a little bit of time investment and Googling up front to figure out how to take advantage of specific features. Maybe I’ll do a tutorial one of these days.

While I’m not exactly caught up, I’m getting there. I have a system for downloading pictures and videos to my computer, which I’ll share with you in a future post. I am now uploading/sharing them on Flickr {so the family is finally off my back, sort of}.  I have entered a recurring task on my calendar to organize and upload photos every two weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Is photo organizing the bain of your existence? What is your biggest complaint? Or are your photos perfectly organized, categorized and documented in a scrap or photobook? I’m sure we’d all love to hear what’s working for you.




Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a professional organizer, techie, business owner, wife, new mom, DIY'er. Born and raised on Long Island, recently relocated to Coastal NC from the DC area (which makes move #10). Currently reorganizing to create a thriving, inviting, comfortably organized home for me & my family.

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3 Responses to Are You Drowning in Digital Photos, too?

  1. Oh Lauren – you’ve touched on a real pain point for me! In most areas of my life I’m organised and top of my game, but when it comes to managing my photos…. arghh!!

    I was so grateful when digital photography came around and I could stop beating myself up about photos that needed putting into albums and duplicate copies I needed to post to family. However, my iPhoto is bursting at the seam. (I just nervously checked to see the actual figure…. 21,193. OMG.)

    Every time I start to look into what to do about backing up/storing I come away from my research more confused that ever and put the whole thing on the back burner again.

    I’m sure I’m not alone here in burying my head in the sand on this??

    Maybe I need to read a mother’s true horror story of losing her kids entire childhood photographs in a poof of computer mishap to shake me into action!?

    Or better yet, I just need someone to hold my hand and tell me step by step what I need to do.

    We did buy an apple Time Capsule which seems to do some kind of auto backup (I am assuming of photos as well!) of the computer each day. But of course that sits here next to our computer so if if the computer was stolen and the thieves decided to be REALLY nasty and took the backup drive too, we ‘d be screwed.

    Sorry to turn this into an essay, but just wanted to add that although everyone seems to use DropBox, I cannot believe I would be paying them every year for the rest of my life (and my kids lives?) to keep our photos safe in the cloud?! really?

    I’ve probably taken this topic off piste as I think you were talking about photo SHARING with relatives and not what to do about 21,193 existing photos.

    But if you have any words of wisdom my ears are wide open.

    • Hi Kelly! I’m not quite at 21K but I definitely have a lot of pics as well. I have a few posts coming up about backup, sharing and documenting so I hope you’ll check back. Will let you know when it’s up!

  2. Joe G says:

    here does one start when they have more than 150K digital photos?

    Great blog….


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