Overcoming Digital Photo Overwhelm Part 2

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Why do we need to overcome your photo overwhelm?

We live in a time when more photos are taken than ever before in history and yet fewer photos are printed or saved in an easily accessible way.  We have dozens, hundreds maybe, of images relating to individual events but in reality we only need a handful of those images to tell our story of the experience.  We do not have systems in place to store our photos together, to delete many, to keep the best and most relevant.

Let me help you to leave a legacy of well curated photos that others can navigate to find what they are looking for.

Last week we gathered images

 If you missed my live video on Facebook you can read a recap here.

The goal is to deal with a manageable number of images at one time.  
Your challenge was to gather and delete.

This week we continue working with that same set of images

Having deleted the obvious duds – those that are out of focus, had people running in front of the subject, badly framed, duplicate photos – you should have reduced the number of images you are working with.

Rename and delete some more

When we import photos they have an alphanumeric file name.  Your first task this week is to rename the images in a way that is meaningful to you.

Here’s how I do it:
Highlight all photos from one event and give them the same name.  In this example, the photos taken were at an annual retreat known as ‘Ab Fab’.  I had 51 images left after last week’s first cull (24 shown here).  They were still labelled with the alpha-numeric code my camera generates. 

Overcome Digital Photo Overwhelm - Learn how to make the overwhelming task of sorting and selecting digital images doable

The fastest way to rename a batch of photos is to select all images and type a new name once.  Depending on the system you are using this may then show your images as Ab Fab 1, Ab Fab 2 and so on or it may show them like Historian, which I am using, with just the title repeated on each image. 

Overcome Digital Photo Overwhelm - Learn how to make the overwhelming task of sorting and selecting digital images doable

Now you can fine tune your photo names.  Select like images and add extra words to the name. In this case ‘Dinner’ and ‘Celebrate Mandy’

Overcome Digital Photo Overwhelm - Learn how to make the overwhelming task of sorting and selecting digital images doable

Now you can sort by name and have another go at deleting. In this case, I chose the photos that were flattering to Mandy but also highlighted the fun element to her gift opening.  I had many food photos but chose to keep just a few to highlight the quality of the meal. Finally, I chose the best group photo and deleted the other 2.

I am left with 12 images that highlight the fun and fabulousness of our gift giving ceremony and meal.  I have gone from needing 178MB of storage to just 65MB. This is fairly usual to only keep 30 – 40% of the photos I take.

Overcome Digital Photo Overwhelm - Learn how to make the overwhelming task of sorting and selecting digital images doable

What are the benefits of renaming files and deleting so enthusiastically?

The greatest benefit is in knowing you have the best photos to look at.  Friends are happier to scroll through 12 photos versus 31.  The images you have tell the story, are good quality and are not repetitive.  It is also faster to scrapbook fewer images!

You need less storage space.  It’s really easy for us to keep buying more or bigger hard drives but do we really need to store ALL the images we take?

You (and others) will be able to look at your archive in the future and know what the photos relate to.   You will be able to find photos more easily

By naming files in this way you need fewer folders.

 This week’s challenge is to re-visit the batch of photos you gathered last week and rename them in a way that is meaningful to you.  Then go back and see if you can delete two-thirds of them!

Overcome Digital Photo Overwhelm - Learn how to make the overwhelming task of sorting and selecting digital images doable

Try this trick if you really struggle with deleting images:  
1. Create a new folder called ‘Photos to Delete’. 
2. Drag photos into this folder that you think should be deleted, making sure they are removed from the original folder. 
3. Check through what is left in the original folder and decide if you are happy the photos tell the story and include the best images.                            4. Bring back extra photos if you think they are needed. 
5. Empty the ‘Photos to Delete’ folder.

Good luck this week.  Persistence makes the job easier.  Next week we will discuss what to do with the images still on all those other devices.

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5 thoughts on “Overcoming Digital Photo Overwhelm Part 2

  1. Glenda Goddard

    Hi Shaunna
    Ian has Windows 10. He can’t seem to rename his photos as a block/group. Having to do them one at a time… any clues please?

  2. Louise Verrall

    Thanks Shaunna – this lesson was so good with the visual images of seeing your photos and how you eliminated them down to 12.

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