Being pregnant and having a baby are life-changing events. Taking photographs will capture moments that you want to remember forever. These moments cannot be re-captured: they live only in images and in your mind. Whether you are photographing your baby’s first day on earth or his/her first steps, you are celebrating something that is beautiful; a child that brings you much love and happiness (and sleep deprivation, too—I am a mom, I know!). In all seriousness, there are so many wonderful scenes to photograph and celebrate! You are creating history: history that can be shared with your grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so forth. But what happens to those images after you take them? Back when people were photographing with 35mm film, everything was printed, but that is no longer the case.
Digital has many advantages and many drawbacks. The biggest drawback I see is people failing to follow through with their memories. I cannot tell you how many times someone has called me to tell me how she lost all her files because her computer crashed or she had card failure in her camera. Yes, there are ways to recover your hard drive or even information on a card (sometimes), but these options are not only costly, they are also very time consuming.
Here are some tips on how to store your images, organize them, and keep them safe:
Set up a system
Come up with some system on how you are going to save images. Here is what I suggest: make a folder on your computer called “My family pictures” (or whatever you want to call it). Inside that folder you will be creating other folders. Let’s say you just photographed your baby at the hospital the day she was born. Create a new folder and date it with that day’s date and the event in the following format: 2009-07-22 Christina’s birthday (hospital).
By dating everything with year-month-day all your folders will stay in chronological order. Cool, right? You won’t have to search anymore:it’s all there! Once you create your new folder, simply drop your images in there and now you have a library of images that you can enjoy and easily navigate! But don’t stop there.
Back it up
Once you have your images in the folder and they are properly named, make sure to save the images to a CD or DVD. Buy one of those inexpensive CD holders and store them in order. That way, if your computer ever crashes, you don’t have to cry or call someone like me. You can buy a bigger, better, and newer system and just get your CDs loaded in there.
Buy an external hard drive
Why not? External hard drives are fairly inexpensive these days and extremely easy to set up. Save all your important files in there as a back up. Not only can you save your precious images, but you can also save your important documents.
Print your images!
Don’t just share them over e-mail or post them on a personal site- print them! Put them in an album, a frame, or scrapbook them. Children love to see themselves and it has been shown that children whose parents display images of them around the house have better self-esteem. Awesome, right?
I hope this article helps you to organize and store your digital files better. Protect your memories and those beautiful little faces that light you up everyday, for tomorrow they won’t be so little. Have those images stored and in print so that you can cherish the “good old days” forever!
Editorial provided by Maria Sauserman of Studio M Photographic in Pittsburgh, PA.