29 December 2007

Serious backlog

I have my photos stored in boxes, in chronological order. A few weeks ago, I peeked into the 2007 box and noticed that is completely EMPTY. If I were truthful with myself, I'd admit that part of the 2006 box is empty, too.

This year, I have taken thousands of pictures. THOUSANDS. But I haven't printed a single one. The one thing I have going for myself is that we back up the files to an external hard drive occasionally. But even that is not fool-proof. (Lest you think I never scrapbook, that's not the case...I'm just working on past years now.)

So now I have a huge backlog of unprinted photos stored on the computer. Since I use Picasa, they are in some semblance of order, but they are only loosely categorized.

Yesterday, I asked for suggestions from the Peas on how to approach this daunting task and received some good ideas. I am going to start on it this weekend, and here is what I'm planning to do:

* Start with December photos and work my way backwards.

* Identify all of the "events" and "moments" that need to be captured for each month and create sub files.

* Move printable photos to those sub files. December's photos are now in one big file, labeled descriptively "December, 2007". In the new and improved system, I would have multiple files for December, 2007, labeled with the name of the event or subject. I'll also put the word "print" in the file name so I can easily sort those out. Radical, huh? :-)

* Now here's the hard part for me: Actually take the photos on the memory card to my local developer and have them printed. I get bogged down at this step since I have to stand at one of those machines and load them all, and sometimes people build up in line behind me. I'm kind of slow at that part, and I always feel bad about people having to wait, so I stop and let everyone behind me go ahead of me. You can imagine how long it takes me. (I use a local place to print my photos because the quality is amazing for the price and the guy gives great service. It's only somewhat creepy that he calls me "hon".)

* Going forward, do this on a monthly basis so I won't create the same mess for myself in 2008.

Since we're having teenagers over for New Year's Eve, I'm thinking I can plow through several months while keeping an eye on the revelry. :-) It'll be my "Year in Review" kind of experience.

If you've had a similar photo backlog, I'd appreciate hearing how you've handled it. Is there a better way to approach this daunting task? How can I prevent this from happening again?


Heather Bares said...

I had a huge backlog of pictures last year and here is what I did: I would break them down into groups of 100 pictures. I have them done at Sams, so 100 pictures translates to a $20 bill for me. I do all of my editing at home and then just drop off the whole CD and ask for a 4x6 of each print. If I had enlargements, all of those went on a CD and again, one 8x10 or whatever of every pic on the CD. Once I get them home, I sit with envelopes and write the event and if there are any enlargements stored in another place on the envelope so when I pull it out, I know exactly where to look. I also might put a sketch or list of things I have in mind to use on the layout. Everything right there at your fingertips when you are ready to scrap.

:: gingerkitty :: said...

OMG I could not imagine having such a current backlog. I take hundreds of photos and scrap three. I don't care to print the rest out or scrap them. It helps me to live burden free in the current year.

Darcey said...

Good Luck:)

Sarah C. said...

LOL Oh, I how feel your pain, Janet! It's been a few months since I've had any developed - just print as I scrap. I did start a folder inside this year's "2007 Pictures" folder titles "-to be ordered-" and, um, well, it only has a couple and none have been ordered. Yikes! Looks like I have something to work on New Year's Day!

jp said...

Thx for your comments and suggestions! Heather, I like the idea of putting the enlargements on a separate CD. That's part of what slows me down when I go to the developer...marking the ones to be enlarged!

I actually started this task yesterday and got thru November and part of December. I still need to do some photo editing on the "to print" photos but at least I have them labeled now. At least this will keep me awake on New Year's Eve! :-) Janet

Cheri said...

Here's my system: almost every time we come home from an event, the camera card gets plugged in and files get uploaded to the computer. Filing system goes like this: one huge folder called "Digital Pictures" right on the desktop, easy to find. Within that, folders for each year. Within each year's folder, folders that look like this, eg. 12_25_2007-Christmas Day, 06_10_2007-At the Park. Within that, ALL pictures from that event (well, I might delete the truly horrible ones). There is another folder within the year that is called "Pictures that were Printed".

When I'm ready to print, I use ACDSee to look quickly through each folder. When I see a photo I would like to actually print (or digitally scrapbook), I right-click on it and choose "copy to" from the flyout menu. Then I create a new folder within "Pictures that were Printed" and call it something to the effect of "12_30_2007-pictures to print". At this point, if any of them need some work, I open up Photoshop and edit away.

When I deem the folder full enough to warrant actual printing (may vary from 25-over 100 pictures), then I usually upload from home to Walden Photo here in my town (they are AWESOME! you can either pick up locally or have them shipped www.waldenphoto.com). Since all the photos I'm printing are in the same folder, all I have to do is select "ALL" from the choices on their uploading page, and wait for it to finish. Then I quickly scroll through the bunch on their site and see if I needed doubles/triples of anything for Grandparents, or a larger/smaller size, etc.

(I too dislike using the machines, but for a different reason...it's hard to keep track of 23 month old DS during the process!)

Btw, the "Pictures that were printed" folder comes in very handy: we bought M-i-l a digital frame for Christmas and all DH had to do was trawl through that ONE folder for a wealth of cute grandson photos for Grandma:)

HTH someone!:)

jp said...

Cheri-Thx so much for sharing the details of your process! I am not surprised that you've worked out a great system! :-) I like the idea of the "Pics that were printed" file. I can see how that would come in handy. You know, I've heard several ppl mention ACDSee recently. I may have to look into that. Thx again! Hope to see you one of these days! Janet

Jan said...

GOOD LUCK! I tend to do the same thing. They just sit here loaded on my computer, and don't come off. LOL! I will day digi scrapping has helped me to feel a little more caught up. Still need to have everything printed though. LOL!

Lynn said...

Hi Janet, I see that the kitties had a great Christmas! I have to say I also feel your pain. As you know I take about a hundred photos at each wrestling meet and hundreds at a tournament. I find that as soon as I get home or the next morning I upload them into the computer and label them with the Tournament or School we went against and the year. Then I swiftly move them right over to Snapfish.com in their own separate album this way I can share them with other parents and they can order if they like. When I'm ready to order my prints they are all there for me.

It sounds like you have a goal in mind and you are already working towards it. Good Luck.

Have fun with all the teenagers tonight.