We all have something that never leaves our to-do lists. Something that we just work around because, for one reason or another, it is a daunting task that we just can’t bear to get started on. For me, it’s organizing my photos and home movies. I’m pretty good at capturing the moments but then what? We used to bring our film to a drugstore, print the pictures, and maybe, if we were really organized, put them into an album. Those days are long gone so it’s time for a new strategy. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I’m finally doing something and crossing it off my to-do list forever! Here’s what worked for me for those that need some inspiration and direction.
First of all, get all of your pictures and videos in one place. For me, I had some pictures on my laptop, some videos on my ipad, and the rest on my desktop. Decide which device you want to use and transfer all pictures and videos there. This is not always an easy task! I had to find a large jump drive and it took quite awhile. But it’s done and from now on, I vow to only upload pictures and videos to my desktop.
Now, back it up. Do you have an external hard drive? If not, get one! I ordered one called “My Passport” on Amazon (isn’t it sexy in red?!) and it is compatible with Time Machine, which is how Macs back up their data. Back up everything and take a moment to congratulate yourself- your memories are now safe!
Next, decide how you want to organize your pictures. I decided I would do it by month because I had too many individual events to keep track of. I would say it depends on how many pictures you take. This also takes a long time. Make a cup of tea and put on some good music. I literally had to approach this like it was my job. Ok, I’m going to work now. I’ll see you in four hours for lunch. Geeze!
Ok, your pictures are now organized. Wahoo! Now, do you want to print them and make albums the old-fashioned way (still a viable option), upload them and order an album, or just stop here? I decided to make one album a year. When I say, “make” I mean upload them to Snapfish or Picaboo (my favorite) and create and order an album. I went through each month, chose the best pictures, and made a new album in iphoto for each year (I did 2011 and 2012). I then uploaded the albums to Picaboo and worked on creating the albums. Again, this is very time-consuming. This may as well be your job for the next week. But think about it, moving forward, this will be a once-a-year project and you will have a beautiful album to mark the passing of yet another year!
Now, those damn videos. Once they’re in imovie, you have to edit (take out what you don’t want, add a theme, an intro, and music if you choose) and then “share” to idvd so you can burn a disc. Your movies will be on discs and you and your family can actually enjoy them!
This is a labor of love. It is not fun. It is tedious, which is why I put it off for so long. But damn, it feels good to know my memories are preserved and organized and ready to enjoy at a moments notice. Now, that pile of VHS cassettes is staring at me…help!