Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

February 1, 2007

More photos.


My giant order from came today. Super exciting to have all these photos in hand. Like I said in my post the other day there is really nothing quite as inspiring as a fresh stack of photos. I went with matte finish and am really impressed once again with the quality (and I do like that they are here in Oregon).

There were a couple questions on that post the other day regarding getting all those photos uploaded and printed. My process tends to go a little something like this:

1. Upload photos from camera to computer (I use iPhoto).

2. Quickly (and I mean quickly) go through them and delete the obvious bad ones – now as many of you know I am a fan of blurred photos so I will usually hang onto them if they can tell a story but I don’t need to have 10 of the same blurred shot…one will do just fine. Also, if I have 20 of Simon playing on the floor with a game I will keep one or two and delete the others. We do not need to have more than a couple of him playing with a game on a particular day…the reason? Because we will be taking more of him playing with another game the next day. Make sense?

3. Adjustments to the photos: I am not one to make many adjustments (color, etc) to my photos. Sometimes I will adjust the color a bit, lighten a shot, or crop, but for the most part I leave them be. This is due to two reasons: (1) it takes too much time to mess with them and (2) I like that they are a true representation of the shot I took.

4. Upload to an online photo developer. Costco or have both been good for me. On Scrapbook Pictures you can change to black and white, add borders, crop, etc after you have uploaded before you check out. You can also add cool border features designed by Karen Russell. I also love that you have the option of getting an index print.

5. Wait patiently for them to come to my house (or pick them up at Costco).

6. Open up the package with glee and feel super inspired by all the contents.

Ever since I took Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories class last year (and have been following along again this session) I have been storing my prints in these 5×7 holders (see photo above) from Cropper Hopper. They work good for me and how I tend to work with my photos. Right now, since I am in the middle of a big project, I am keeping the box open out on my desk so I can grab a couple and get to work. I am also using some three-up albums from Pioneer to store photos from trips and enable me to better see what I have on hand.

People often ask about my photo organization and I am really pretty much a student of the Stacy Julian philosopy of storage and albums. Notice I say student. This means that I am still working towards a fully functional system. I love her approach, philosopy, and attitude.

I think photo organization and storage is one of the biggest issues we all face as life artists. It can be super overwhleming. It’s all about tailoring a system to fit your own needs, working conditions, etc.

Back to work.


  • 1.
    Sally in Mass said…

    that is some stack of pictures! I need to do that same thing. I have soooooooo many pictures in iphoto right now waiting to be processed. Maybe that will inspire me to get back to scrapbooking!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • 2.
    cindy said…

    Ali, I always love seeing your work area. Totally inspiring. I am taking LOM right now too!! It’s overwhelming at times seeing all my pictures EVERYWHERE but I’m totally excited about having a process that works for me and let’s me accomplish all that I want to with my photos and that’s TELL OUR STORIES! Peace and blessings, Cindy

  • 3.
    Erin Saeger said…

    Isn’t it great to have so many great photos to scrapbook? I always enjoy seeing your work area–would love to see more of your work space that inspires you!

  • 4.
    beth j said…

    thanks for sharing your process…it’s always fun to see how people work with their photos. have fun working!

  • 5.
    Therese Bradley said…

    Thanks for giving us a link to the 3-up photo albums. I’ve seen mention of them before by other people, but couldn’t find a source for them.

  • 6.
    Kris with a K said…

    Love seeing your workspace….and thanks for the link to Scrapbookpictures. I started an account there and am uploading. I do have a PictureMate (I call her the ‘Happy Little Toaster’), but for the price that online can’t be beat. Not to mention the border options available. And I want some photos in 5×7 anyway.
    On organizing the photos…have you tried the Creative Memories PowerSort system? I used to be a consultant years ago, and got the system right before I deactivated. I really like the system, because the sections can be removed and rearranged, and the Mini Box holds just 3 of the sections. It’s nice for portability. Just thought I’d mention the system, and it rocks for me. And I just resorted all my photos from chronologically to Stacy’s type of divisions, after reading The Big Picture. So now I can grab a section, like ‘People We Love’ and do some layouts knowing the photos are all in there.
    Thanks for sharing from CHA, too!

  • 7.
    Pam S. said…

    Wow, that’s a lot of photos in a short time span. TFS your process. A couple Qs for you:
    – Do you print any photos at home?
    – Do you print all photos you take, meaning you have a print of everything on your computer?
    I have been failing miserably at keeping up with the prints and find that I have to go on the computer to find something. I dislike that and will need to start keeping up and then going back and printing so many from the last few years when I started digital.

  • 8.
    Marty said…

    thank you SO much for taking the time to tell us about your process. I, for one, have a tendency to fiddle with most of my pics in adobe photoshop but after reading your blog, I realize that yes, it takes time to do that, and so I put it off and where does that leave me? pictureless! I am looking forward to starting my ‘week in the life’ picture-taking soon so maybe, because I need to have LOTS of pics, I can try something new, and ‘leave them be’ as they are.
    Again, thanks for insight into your work and world. I benefit more than you know! :)

  • 9.
    cgarrett said…

    that stack of photos makes me giddy for you as well ! i always love that….and i love what you said about “pics of simon playing a game”….i tend to(ahem)at times take way too many pics of the same thing and there really is no need…i’m working on that ! needless to say i’m not a 1 pic/per page scrapper ! thanks for your taking the time to tell us your process…i always enjoy “listening”

  • 10.
    Deborah Hensley said…

    It’s nice to see how someone else organizes photos. I was just thinking about this today as I was at Wal-Mart and looking at their albums. I know some people put their pictures in photo albums, and then pull them out and scrap them, but I think a box is the the way for me. I just got 218 photos from Shutterfly today from my trip to Dubai, so I can’t wait to finish this project. (after seeing your 1500 photos, 218 doesn’t seem like quite so much, lol!)
    Thanks for your post, it was helpful to me.

  • 11.
    PamMc said…

    You’re post a couple days ago inspired me to upload about 180 photos I’ve been putting off ordering. They’re ordered and should be here this weekend. Love scrapbookpictures. thanks for the inspiration, once again.

  • 12.
    denise said…

    i have to laugh each time i read “back to work” your work ethic is admirable! can’t wait to see the new book ~ i’m sure all your hard work will be worthwhile. denise

  • 13.
    cindy said…

    i was just telling my hubby that i wanted to spend this weekend sending lots of pics to Costco & backing up my photos, too (i have been slacking the last few months) i will have to look into Scrapbook Pictures site. i’ve always used Costco, never had a problem w/ their services. you have inspired me…so i can’t wait to get my photos organized.

  • 14.
    Courtney said…

    i really love the Starbucks holiday green sleeve on your desk… now THAT is inspiration for anyday! :o )

  • 15.

    LOVE Scrapbook Pictures!

  • 16.
    Susan in NY said…

    ALI, I didn’t know you were in LOM! How cool!!! I am struggling to keep up, but LOVE Stacy’s philosophy and I know that I will get there. Thanks for sharing your system with us!

  • 17.
    Kla said…

    Oh my Gahh thank you for not editing your damn photos. I mean, I’m all about a perfect shot…but who has the patience to deal w/ the photoshop???
    This is yet again why you are my hero.

  • 18.
    Paula said…

    How tidy are you!! I love to see things all stacked & stored neatly.
    I always print my own photos on matt paper as they don’t shine on scrap pages causing the flash to kick back. It’s bad enough trying to get a dcent pic when you use metal embellishments.

  • 19.

    I’d like to have the opportunity to print all my pics!!!
    it would be sooo génial!!!
    all the great stuff you’ll make with!!!
    {ThE fReNcH tOuCh}

  • 20.
    Tambur said…

    Love, love, LOVE I am living overseas and getting my pictures in the mail is like a little gift to me. I upload my pictures, change color, choose the sizes of photos (really like the 2×2 as supporting photos) and the fact that I can have my pictures printed in matte, which always turns out awesome, is just so rewarding and exciting! I am currently in Stacy’s LOM class and being totally loving it.

  • 21.
    Brooke said…

    I completely agree that photo organization and storage is a big deal. Finding something that works for you means that you can actually create art. I find when my organization isn’t working for me I dread getting in my room to create.
    I had to laugh when you said that you use iPhoto. I was mucking around with some photos the other day on iPhoto, and thought that I was editing copies of my original. Ooopps, I wasn’t. Thankfully I was able to get my original photo back. No more playing just yet until I know what on earth I’m doing.

  • 22.
    Brooke said…

    I completely agree that photo organization and storage is a big deal. Finding something that works for you means that you can actually create art. I find when my organization isn’t working for me I dread getting in my room to create.
    I had to laugh when you said that you use iPhoto. I was mucking around with some photos the other day on iPhoto, and thought that I was editing copies of my original. Ooopps, I wasn’t. Thankfully I was able to get my original photo back. No more playing just yet until I know what on earth I’m doing.

  • 23.
    suetreiber said…

    I need to process some pix too, but don’t think I can handle 1500 at the same time! Yikes that’s a lot of sorting.

  • 24.
    Nancy said…

    One thing I like to do is have a folder called “To Print”. As I’m going through folders on my computer (which I have by date), I just copy over the ones I want to print into the “To Print” folder. When I get them printed, I then can delete the entire folder. I suppose you could put a sub-folder called 5×7 for those you want to print larger.
    By they way…I work for a company that makes disk drives. We do everything we can to make sure they don’t crash, but they can. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you have your photos backed up!

  • 25.
    Ann said…

    You’re so organized! It’s inspiring, for sure.
    I’ve been putting off getting some layouts printed and good thing too because I just popped over to Scrapbook Pictures and see that for the month of February 12 x 12 prints are only $2.49! What a deal!

  • 26.
    Sara B said…

    Okay, officially inspired here. As soon as I get my scrap room “done” (is that ever possible to be done?) I am starting on the photos. I go through so much ink printing at home that looks like a good alternative. Thanks for sharing your system!

  • 27.
    Caitlin said…

    Hey Ali! Saw this quote and thought of your work..
    “Art is life, life is life, but to lead life artistically is the art of life.”
    Peter Altenberg
    Have a good day!

  • 28.

    Okay, here’s my system:
    I think it’s pretty similar to yours, but I thought I’d share anyway. A lot of my scrapbooking buddies have been wanting me to put it online, so there it is.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • 29.
    Amy Hummel said…

    I think I’d totally have a system if I had more room! But for now, I just have all of my pictures stored on my computer (as they are all digital). Computer wise, I have them stored into different folders based on the year they were taken. If a certain year has a lot of picutres, then that folder is broken down into months. 2007 has started off in months, because I’m already off to a tremendous start with picture taking! My amout of pictures has significantly increased since I got my Canon 20D.
    Speaking of cameras, I loved your post the other day (with the link to another blog) about photography and blurry photos. I’ve been more inspired to keep blurry pictures lately. I think this happened after reading your Designers Eye book. So it was really refreshing to see a professions photographer talk about blurry pictures & using a flash. Because I have decided long ago that I love the colors and motion provided by pictures taken with no flash.

  • 30.
    Sudie said…

    Thanks for the inspiration! Love your process. Now, back to work for me.

  • 31.
    Missy said…

    Totally loving the Starbucks coffee wrapper in the background – those things inspire me to no end!
    Love the organization – I just recently reorganized all my photos – now I just need to pick the ones that are destined for a SB page.
    Thanks, as always, for being you!

  • 32.
    sue said…

    More good information and more classes to sign up for! Thanks and have a good weekend! Go Bears!

  • 33.
    Karla Dudley said…

    Wow…I really needed this post! I have been looking into ordering picts on line. I have developed one card of photos at the store and it was very cool just to have them there. I find I get caught up in correcting and printing that I rarely get anything done. Thanks girl!

  • 34.

    I DID IT!!!
    Thanks for the inspiration…998 photo’s are being printed as we speak. I am also an artist that does best with the live photo’s in my hand, brings all the great spirit into the project. I gave you a shout out on the comments part of my order. Thanks Ali!

  • 35.
    Irma said…

    Hi Ali,
    I liked your system of organizing photos. My only problem is that I print so many varied sizes that they would never all fit in a 5×7 Cropper Hopper. Is there a reason you print mostly 4×6? vs cropping it on scrapbookpictures?

  • 36.
    Wednesday Cox said…

    Ali…I think I know you and I can’t for the life of me figure out why?…my name is Wednesday Cox (my maiden name was Miller). Did you go to OSU? Were you in a sorority. I’m a HUGE scrapbooker, and I saw your photo in Simple Scrapbooks this month regarding the new CKU Home Study classes. So cool. How did you get hooked up working with CK? :-) Wednesday

  • 37.
    hillary said…

    Hi Ali – thaks for the tips – I too use iPhoto and follow a similar routine. . .although I don’t delete nearly what I should. I purchased a couple of those 5×7 boxes, and I was wondering how you arrange your prints in them? What are your categories?
    Thanks for always sharing and inspiring!

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