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  • Anne Alagna

You took 500 photos! Now what???

In 2017, I took about 2900 photos on my phone, 500 of which were from a 3-week vacation with my daughter. We had three days at Disneyland, a day at Legoland, a day at SeaWorld, many days at the beach, many days with family, and many days with friends. Eventually, I narrowed it down to 185 photos for that trip, just the ones that meant something, and no extremely similar or nearly duplicate photos, of which we initially had a lot. How exactly did I narrow it down?

Hi. I’m Anne. I’m a digital organizer specializing in photos. I help overwhelmed families declutter their digital environment so they can find what they need quickly.

When you are ready to get a photo book from your vacation printed, do you want to be sorting through 500+ photos? When you want to share with friends and family, are they going to want to scroll endlessly through your hundreds of images? Let’s narrow down the number of photos.

Helpful steps while on vacation

When we took our long trip across the country, it could have been overwhelming to sort through the photos when I got home. So I followed these steps to ease the burden on myself

Create a folder

First, at the end of each day, I created a folder, on my phone, for that day and moved its photos into it. This allowed me to see how many photos I had for each day, for each event. Knowing how many were from the same event gave me more perspective when I was ready to sort through the photos. Did I really need 200 photos from one single day? 200 photos are enough for a photo book all of its own. Was that my final intention for these photos a separate book for each day? No, no it wasn’t. I wanted to highlight each day in the book but not to make a book for every day or every few days.

Do the Daily Delete

If I had time, at the end of the day I also did my daily delete.

I deleted bad images, such as blurry photos, photos with a thumb in them, photos where another tourist stepped in front of the camera at just the wrong moment.

I deleted informative photos I no longer needed, such as photos of our parking spot, and photos I took of things I wanted to buy on our way out of the park. Reducing the number of photos while the day was still fresh in my mind helped me make sure to keep the photos that inspired the most important memories and weed out the photos that didn’t mean anything.

Then I looked at near-duplicate photos. In the amusement parks, whether it was a professional photographer or a passerby that was helpful enough to take our photo, we always ended up with multiples that were nearly identical. I appreciated having the option to choose which photo suited us best. I tried to pick the one of two best of the bunch and delete the rest before I moved on to the next set.

I repeated this process at the end of the trip, comparing photos from different days, editing and cropping special photos. All with the final project in mind, a photo book.

Best Practices for Travel

As a Bonus: Let’s talk about best practices to protect your photos on vacation. Photos from your phone and photos on a camera.

Before travel:

Before leaving on vacation, I assess my tech and do any maintenance that will help later.

Did everything charge correctly?

Did something need a new charger?

Did I pack all the necessary adapters?

Is my phone case in good shape, sturdy enough to handle multiple drops on pavement.

Are there apps that I can uninstall?

or apps that I will need to install to use while we’re gone such as for the airline, the car rental company, the hotel, or the amusement park.

I backed up all my current photos to my laptop and to a cloud service before we left. I set the automatic backup and sync feature for the cloud to run while we were gone. I cleaned up the photo and download files that were already on my phone so it ran faster. I bought and installed a bigger SD card and set the camera app to automatically save photos and videos to it.

If you want to ensure your photos are safe during travel, consider the following things:

Use multiple memory cards.

Switch out your memory card every day or two. If one fails, you will not lose everything from the entire trip.

Get a portable backup device

Get a portable backup device if not taking your Laptop or External Hard Drive. It's important to have multiple copies of your images to ensure at least one copy of each photo makes it home with you.

Download every evening

If taking your laptop, download all photos every evening. If possible, also backup to the cloud. The more places you store full-resolution copies of your photos, the safer they become.

Set the Date and Time

Make sure you set the right time/date on your camera. It’s really difficult to sort through photos years from now when the metadata attached to the image right from the camera is wrong. It takes just a few seconds to make sure that the time and date are correct. And while you’re at it, do yourself a favor and turn off the date on image option so you don’t have to crop that out when you make a photo book.

Protect Your Devices

And finally, Protect your tech. This might mean sturdier travel cases, it might mean locking things up in the hotel, it might mean being more cautious of your use of public wifi. You will not be in the safety of your home. Your tech will be jostled around more than you might expect so prepare for the worst and give a sigh of relief when the worst doesn’t happen.

Leave me a comment below telling me if you have any additional steps you take for vacation photos.

And if you haven't yet, Grab the audio Training on my 6 tips to easily create a photo book you will be proud to show friends and family.

If you've found this helpful, please like, subscribe, and click the bell so you are notified when I upload a new video each week. Then join me back here next Tuesday when I will be sharing ideas for using all those photos.

Until then, thanks for joining me!

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