It is obvious one of my major goals this year is to get on top of my photos. I have been thrilled with my progress so far, and I just wanted to share some things that are really helping me to get the photos off the computer and into the albums in a logical, sequential order.
Firstly, last year I organised my photos digitally, which you can read about here. This has saved me SO much time recently, as I know where everything is and it is in chronological order. This is the first step to success.
I must admit however, that since having given back my work computer at the end of last year and now being solely a 'Mac' family, I am still adjusting to organising my new 2013 photos on the Mac, and this is something that I am refining and will share with you once I have a good system in place.
Secondly, I went through all of the digital folders of photos and did a big cull. Anything that was blurry, had someone's eyes closed, etc has all been trashed! I know it is hard with digital to let them go, but often I can have 3 or more of the same photo, each with something a little different or wrong with them. I was very strong, picked the best one and trashed the rest. This helped immensely when it came to decision time for the albums.
Next it was time to print my photos. At the moment, I am using Big W. It is nearby, it is quick (I usually only have to wait 30 minutes from the time I place my order), it is fairly cheap at 15c a print and I am happy with the quality. I also like that I can print 3x4 photos that fit perfectly in the little journalling holes in my Project Life page protectors - this means I can fit lots more photos on a page than just the standard four 4x6 photos.
In order to get my photos off my computer and in for printing, I use 3 x USB sticks. I have each labelled, as you can see below - 3x4, 6x4, 8x10. As I go through my photo folders on my computer, I choose the ones I want to print and copy them onto the USB for the size photo that I would like to print that particular photo for the album. Most vertical photos I print as 3x4, as these don't fit in the standard Design A photo pocket pages, which are my favourite. Most horizontal photos I print at 4x6, and then obviously it is just the special ones that I print as an enlargement at 8x10.
By using the 3 sticks, I place my order in 3 parts, and know exactly what I want to order. I have tried writing a list of the photos and the sizes I need, but it just gets confusing, having to search through dozens of tiny pictures on the screen to find the ones that I want to print differently to the others. And there is no way I can rely on my brain to remember which ones I want at each size!
On the Big W machine, I use the Collage Prints function to print the 3x4 photos (2 per page), then I use the Digital Prints function to print the rest. I load the photos separately for each stick - deleting the photos from the previous order. As I don't have to take a list with me to help me remember what size photos I need, it is very quick to do the ordering as basically all photos on one stick are being printed the same size, so there is no scrolling through to select changes.
As I said, my local Big W is super quick with printing, sometimes I have only had to wait 20 minutes and my photos are ready! What great service :)
Then when I come home, I sit with my computer beside me on the table, sort the photos into piles for each event and write the date on a post-it note which gets stuck on the top of the pile. Then I move the photos into chronological order and start sliding them into the pockets of my album.
And that is how I print photos. I hope to get into an even better routine once my photos are up to date, when I am able to just do monthly printing and journalling. But for now, this system is working for me and my state of catching up. I generally find I am printing 200 photos at a time, which equates to around 6 months.
I am not pre-planning my pages, I am just getting them in the album. Again, when I am up to date, I will have more time to plan layouts, but for now my goal is to get the photos in the albums, not worry about having the perfect page for every event. I find that the Project Life kit really makes the album look like every page is a planned layout anyway, as the coordinating title cards, filler cards and journalling cards tie things together so nicely.
It really is such an amazing product - in just 4 hours yesterday I was able to put 200 photos into an album, complete with title cards, filler cards and journal cards ready to go. All I need to do now is go back and do the journalling, which will be a great weeknight job in front of the telly. That's 4 hours and 6 months of one year is now up to date! AND it looks pretty!
Make sure you check out Becky Higgins' website if you want more information on Project Life - it really is such a fabulous product and I can't speak more highly of it :)
And that's about it! I am off now to start saving my 2012 photos to my sticks for printing next week :)