Friday, July 17, 2015

So, you think you have too many photos? — part 1

The most common problem I hear from my customers and friends is they have too many photos.

Ann (not her real name) said, "But Beth, I have stacks of those big rubber tubs, and they are just full of pictures! I'll never get it all done!"

She hadn't touched those pictures all year. She was too overwhelmed to start.

I've got a news flash for you. Just like other things in your life, you'll never get it all done. We have limited time on this earth. The best we can do is finish what's most important.



I have a lot of photos. I took very few when I was younger, then more as I traveled and became the documenter of family events. Between journalism work and getting my own digital camera in 2010, the number of pictures on my computer exploded. Now I'm not competing with anybody about feeling overwhelmend, but there's more! My dad was a professional photographer and I've inherited wonderful negatives and slides, mostly from the 1950s. (Here's a wonderful article my sister wrote about Daddy.) As the family genealogist, I've also been entrusted with pictures that date from the 19th century. What does this mean? (besides lots of fun as I look through them) It means I have a backlog of pictures that's older than I am!

Is there any hope? Look at my album shelf.

No, I don't scrapbook full time. No, I don't have every weekend free.

I know I can't get all my pictures done. But I finish the Thanksgiving pages so I can take them with me to the next family gathering. I finish the mission trip pictures so I can take them to the next church event. I work on my albums a little at the time, event by event (I like to do pages by event, then stick them into albums for each year).

Thinking about all your pictures is overwhelming. Instead, focus on one of three things:

1. The most recent event. (We had a lovely wedding and bridal shower this year. I've already bought an album and my second priority is to get those pictures printed.)

2. The most important event coming up on your calendar. (I finished the family history album on the right for an 80th-birthday gift.)

3. The album that's almost finished, or that's continually on your mind. (My first picture priority is to finish my 2009 album. A few more pictures to print, and it'll be done!)

Pick the most important thing and mark the next steps on your calendar (eg. print pictures, check album supplies, etc.)

You can do it! 

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