Photo Organization

I'm not that good at it by any means, but I take a lot of pictures. And what do I do with them all?

Camera Strap Cover
{Not what I look like right now! Seven months pregnant with Claire.}

Photoshop Elements. I use this to crop and edit our photos, as well as to add the numbers to Claire's onesies in her monthly photos.  It's a pared down version of Photoshop that we got for a steal a couple years ago using our student discounts from Pitt. 

Picasa. I only use this to make collages, but you can edit your photos in here too. If we hadn't already purchased Photoshop Elements for such a great deal, I would definitely just use this or another free program, like Pic Monkey.

Flickr. I store every single photo we have on this site. I love that I can access them from anywhere and I really, really love that I can just paste the html code for a photo directly into a blog post. It is so much quicker and easier than using the Blogger photo uploader! Totally worth the $2 a month. 

Instaport. I'm addicted. When I take a photo with Instagram, I share it with my Flickr account, so it's always right there waiting in my photo stream to be added to the "Instagram" album. When I occasionally need to download those photos, usually to make a collage in Picasa, I use Instaport. 

Blurb. I am a little obsessed with photo books. I've always used Blurb and been really happy with them. The photo quality is great, they always have some sort of discount, and you can make books up to 240 pages. Other sites that I've heard good things about, like My Publisher, limit you to 100 pages. Another thing I love is that you can link the software to your Flickr account and import photos into your book right from there. 

Snapfish. When I need prints, usually to send to Claire's great-grandparents, I almost always use this site. I've been really happy with their prices and, again, I love that you can link to your Flickr photo stream. Cheap and easy? Right up my alley. You can either have them mailed to you or pick them up from a nearby Wal-Mart or certain drug stores.

Arts Cow. Canvas prints are just the cutest and this is definitely the cheapest site I've found. The 11x14 size is $17.99 and there's always free shipping. If you're looking for a really huge canvas, though, this isn't the site for you. They only go up to 20x24. It's a little sketchy, but the quality has always been awesome for the price!

Shutterfly. I've used them for all our Christmas cards, Claire's birth announcement, and our moving announcement {which wasn't exactly necessary, but I had a gift card about to expire}. I think Tiny Prints and Minted have much cuter designs, but since I constantly have coupons for Shutterfly, I just can't justify not using them. 

And a few things I've been wanting to try:

StickyGram. I think these Instagram magnets are so cute! They also offer free shipping to anywhere in the world, so I've been really wanting to send some to my parents in Shanghai. Well, I think I just ruined the surprise...

Lightroom. If I ever learn how to use our camera in manual and start shooting in RAW format, it would be awesome to upgrade from Photoshop Elements to Lightroom. It's also affiliated with Blurb, so you can use it instead of Blurb's own software to make photo books. This upgrade probably isn't going to happen anytime soon though. 

Bulkr. We have an external hard drive that we used to backup our college laptops once. I've been really meaning to use this software to backup all of our photos from Flickr. Just to be prepared. I think I'm declaring today the day!


  1. Oh! THank you for this post! I was an avid Picasa user for several years, but since they've gone away with the Picnik photo editing I stopped uploading. I didn't know all those details about Flickr. Sounds like it's worth a shot!

    I recently upgraded to Lightroom. I take somewheres of 10,000+ a year and it helps keep them nice and organized and it loads so much faster than Apple's Aperture.

    I have been thinking about switching from MyPublisher to Blurb, now that I have Lightroom it just makes sense. I'm glad you like the quality because I think MyPublisher's is only so-so.

    Also, start messing around with shooting in manual - I took a class, but also read Digital Photography School and have learned little tips from them. I just did my first two days shooting in RAW and I seem to like it so far.

    1. I think with Lightroom you can connect it to your Flickr account and just automatically upload them once you're done editing. So easy!

  2. Ahhh photos! I am currently trying to figure out a good system for all of this stuff. I filled my entire laptop hard drive with photos (or like 90% photos and 10% other stuff), so my previous super-easy method of "store them on the computer and back up every week or so with the external hard drive and Apple's Time Machine" doesn't work anymore.

    I've been considering Flickr, but I'm just not sure. I'm terrified that one day they'll raise the price to like $400/yr (or, more likely, a progressive rate structure based on storage) and I'll be stuck paying it to avoid losing my photos. Plus Flickr can't store images in RAW format. Does it let you "batch download" everything if necessary? Also... do you upload them to your computer first, then edit them in Photoshop, then upload them to Flickr, then delete them from the computer?

    1. I kinda doubt Flickr would ever raise their prices that much, just because it would be a bad business decision! Adam also said that there's actually more and more storage space on the internet thanks to virtual servers (which is what he works on).

      I took a photography workshop last summer and the photographer recommended shooting in RAW, obviously. He uploaded the photos from his camera to the computer as RAW files, edited them, and saved them as jpegs. Then whenever he filled up a memory card, instead of deleting everything on it and he's just start using a new one and label the old memory card with the last date he used it. Since memory cards aren't really that expensive for the amount of storage space they provide, that just seemed easiest to him.

      My system right now is to upload all the photos into a file titled "2013 all" and then copy my favorites into a file titled "2013 favorites". I edit the favorites and upload them to Flickr. At the end of the year I delete the "all" folder and move the "favorites" folder to our external hard drive.

  3. Oh and one more question (so sorry, haha!) - do you back your photos up somewhere else (in case something crazy happens to Flickr)?

    1. I should have done this way earlier, but I just used the program I mentioned before called "Bulkr" to back-up everything on Flickr to an external hard drive. It was really easy! You don't have to download every picture either, for example, you could just pick the set "wedding pics" if you were making a CD for a family member or something. So if Flickr ever got crazy expensive you could definitely get all your photos off the site pretty quickly!


You are awesome.