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I'm Ready to Dive into My Digital Pictures but Where Do I Begin?

Do you do anything with your digital pictures beyond taking them? It can be overwhelming but is doable if you’re willing to put in some time. This post lays out the process that I use & recommend.

First you need to figure out where everything is.

Are they in your phone(s), on flash drives, in your camera(s), etc.? Then you need to download it all to your computer hard drive. I recommend creating one folder to keep all of your digital pictures and videos. Mine is titled “Pictures and Videos” as shown in the attached screen shot.

Once all of your pictures are downloaded start organizing them into folders within your main “Pictures and Videos” file. I recommend doing this by month/year (i.e.“Dec. 2011 Pictures” and “Dec. 2011 Videos”), but you can also do it by event (i.e. “Christmas 2011” and “Christmas 2011 Videos”). An example is attached.

After all of your photos and videos are organized it’s time to start editing. I recommend using a program like Picasa or (iPhoto for Mac users). I am a new Mac user and am still finding Picasa easier to organize and use. It’s a simple download, http://picasa.google.com/.

Once you’ve got Picasa downloaded it will pull in all of your picture and video files that you just created. In Picasa go to “Tools”, and “Folder Manager”. Tell it to “Scan Once” for all of your recently added files. (See attached).

Unless you are a professional photographer, editing will really entail basic cropping, red eye adjustment, color enhancement or treatments (like black & white), and most importantly deleting. You don’t need five pictures of the same thing. Choose the best one or two and delete the rest. Delete all blurry and out of focus pictures, just keep the best of the best.

Then you can start playing with the editing features. Just click on a photo and Picasa brings up the editing options along the left side of the screen (see attached). Each tab has different editing options. Play around with them to see what they all offer.

Getting through the downloading, organizing, and editing can be a very daunting, time-consuming task. Just make sure to do it on a regular basis going forward so you don’t get backlogged again. If you can do this every month or after big events/trips you’ll save yourself a lot of time down the road.

Once you’ve got all of your photos downloaded, organized and edited you can begin creating wonderful keepsakes and art with them. I’ll discuss creating photo books in the next post. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to post any questions or comments.

About me: I’m a stay-at-home mom of two who has recently taken my hobby and turned it into my new business Digi-Gals here in Danville. I offer all of the above services to those of you who are strapped for time. I also create digital photo books, digital photo wall art, cards, calendars, etc. For more information please visit my website www.digi-gals.com.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

msvenezia February 28, 2012 at 04:40 PM
For scanning old photos I recommend scanmyphotos.com. I converted thousands of photos dating back to 1910.
Nichole Hsu February 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Good to know. I've used Scan Cafe and have been happy with their service and pricing.


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