“Say yule log!” Yes, it’s highly possibly that you’ll hear Uncle Roland cheerfully call out that phrase at least a few times over the next week as he snaps away on his new digital camera. And by then you’ll have a host of holiday season digital images on-hand. How to organize these memorable moments so you can easily enjoy them and share them with others?

Keep the originals exactly as they are

After the hubster and I shoot digital photos, we download the originals onto the computer and save them in folders labeled by year and topic (i.e. 2009 Christmas or 2009 Thanksgiving or 2009 Bar Harbor Trip). Photos in these folders never get edited or modified in any way. Ever.

Tip: Categorizing photos into their proper folders can feel like a bear of a project if you do it just once a year. Save yourself hours of time by transferring photos to their appropriate folder shortly after an event is over and before your next adventure happens. This will save you hours of time down the road.

A little separation is a good thing

The hubster is our in-house expert photo editor. And he’s quite talented, if I do say so myself. While editing pictures, he copies the originals and moves¬† the copies to a folder appropriately called “Working Files.” When they’re ready, the edited images are moved back to their original folder and placed in a sub-folder that’s aptly labeled, “Edited Photos.” Creative, yes?

Tip: Regularly back-up your digital photograph files. You’ll be glad you did. Easy ways to do this are burning the originals and edited files onto a DVD or saving them to an external hard drive or USB thumb drive.

And now for the obligatory slide show

There are many resources available for organizing and viewing your photo collection. The hubster thinks Picasa is an excellent tool for this purpose, and I happen to agree. Although its editing capabilities are somewhat limited, Picasa is a great resource for creating photo albums to share with others through http://picasaweb.google.com/.

Tip: Download your pictures as soon as possible after the memorable moment (within reason…no need to do this during Christmas dinner). While digital photos don’t yellow like their resin-coated predecessors, it’s still good practice to get them off of your camera soon after the memorable moment. Why keep all those smiling faces hidden?!

Make this season (and all year) bright for loved ones

The hubster and I were thrilled to host our first Thanksgiving this year. After the last bite of pumpkin pie was polished off and the candles had burned low, it was meaningful to be able to share images of the gathering with family and loved ones who couldn’t join us that day. Photos really do tell a story, capture precious moments, and minimize the miles when you’re far apart.

This holiday season – and after future parties and gatherings – consider sending a digital photo album to loved ones who couldn’t join the fun. This thoughtful gesture will mean the world to them. Sniff, sniff.

* Photo by Jonathan Eggers

Tagged with →