I find myself today in almost the same situation as when I started this blog. In the summer of 2006 I had my first baby, my daughter! That was three years ago. Now, three years later I had my second baby, my son! This is a great blessing indeed! Because we live in modern times with digital cameras, babies come with…well, among many other things, lots of pictures. And all these pictures need organization. There are a few things about organzing baby pictures that make the task a little different especially if you’re only using folders for organizing your pictures.
Many people love to see your baby’s pictures
I have a large family, and my wife has a large family as well…so we have lots of relatives and lots of friends. Some have access to a computer while others don’t. Our challenge is to send pictures to everyone. We have used email, Facebook and Fotki as our means for sharing the great news of the birth as well as send new pictures almost every day. For some family members however we have to print pictures and send them via regular mail.
Well everyone wants new pictures so they see how the baby is growing up. It is true, the first months of a baby’s life are the most dramatic in terms of their growth and development. Facial features as well as gestures change constantly with babies. So, it’s only normal to take lots of pictures. And it’s also normal to want to share them. Our challenge is to produce pictures for different formats: email, web publishing and paper printing. So how do I organize my folders to accomplish this?
Organize baby pictures with folders first
I have found out with our first baby that I need another layer of folders on top of the events since with babies there are no real events other than the passing of time (Read Organize your pictures in 5 easy steps). Every day is an event for babies. I take pictures every single day, sometimes more pictures and some times less pictures. So here is my folder structure:
My Pictures TRANSFER CHILD'S NAME - Create a folder with your child's name 2009 2009-06-Birth 2009-06-23-Birth 2009-06-24-First_day_hospital 2009-06-26-home 2009-06-27-misc 2009-06-29-doctor_visit email print selected 2009-07-One_month 2009-07-02-park 2009-07-02-church email print selected videos
Organize baby pictures with tags…if you have time.
Having a new baby in the house leaves little time for anything else. This applies also to tagging your pictures because usually this process can be time consuming. But if you want to add tags to your baby’s pictures I suggest an approach similar with the directory structure I was suggesting above.
This means that you create tags for the different stages in the life of your baby. This is still event focused organization but a new baby’s events have more to do with the passing of time than with concrete one time events. So I suggest tags that fit in the
events tag category:
third month. Then you can add other tags that fit under other tag categories like
feed…well this is pretty much what a baby does so you’re pretty much set. (Read Create precise image tags).
My photography workflow for organizing pictures of my baby
So, here is what I do to avoid being overwhelmed by all these pictures. I transfer my pictures from my camera to the Transfer folder. I use software (I use FastStone Image Viewer) for creating a folder within transfer for each day I took pictures. Then I transfer them into the appropriate subfolder under Benjamin/2009.
Almost every week, I go through the pictures and add to the selected folder the best pictures that I have taken. I do some light processing and cropping and save these in the selected folder. Then I do the appropriate resizing: 800×600 for email and web publishing, and 1800×1200 (corresponding to 4×6 at 300dpi print resolution) for printing on paper using fotki.com.
You should also notice that I create a separate folder for videos. I don’t like to mix videos with pictures. Videos are a different beast to me. And since I take a lot fewer videos, I will only create one single folder for videos for the entire year.
Essentials for organizing your digital photosHere are the essential products and services I have come to rely on for many years to keep my media collection organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.
Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you're looking for a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac (60% off until October 7, 2020) or ACDSee Pro for Windows is my preferred solution for organizing your media on your computer. It has a very fast browser, beautiful image editing capabilities and you don't work with catalogs at all.
If you do a lot of image editing like I do, I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has excellent photo editing capabilities. Yes, Lightroom has a steeper learning curve as you have to learn to keep your catalogs in sync with your hard drive. But if do image editing, Adobe Lightroom is my favorite.
I recommend Backblaze Cloud Backup for affordable & reliable unlimited cloud backup. I have been using Backblaze for backing up all pictures & videos for more than 4 years now. All my invaluable digital memories are safe and secure.
In addition, make sure you have an inexpensive and reliable external hard drive for backing everything up. It is absolutely essential for backing up your media regularly.