Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

May 12, 2011

Memory Keeping Q&A | Photos

Today’s memory keeping Q&A deals with photos, cameras, photo storage, etc.

I have to tell you that the process of working through all these questions has really made me re-think about my own personal processes for my photos once again. There are definitely things I want to do differently and continue to evolve as I move forward. One thing you’ll notice as you read through my responses is that I don’t have it all figured out in regards to dealing with my photos and I’m on the same path as most of you – figuring it out (or attempting to) as I go along.

If you asked a question relating to photos and you don’t see it below it’s likely I will cover it in an upcoming post under a different topic heading – I’ve been working on getting them to flow with the overall topic. Thanks for understanding!


MAUREEN | Where are you now with the relationship between your digital photos and your scrapbooking? I am wondering about a more global view to taking hundreds of pictures a month, and scrapbooking a small percentage of them. While I am enjoying scrapping random things with a small percentage of my photos, I am also feeling a tug towards my entire photo catalog and how I want to edit (as in reduce, not process) organize, annotate and preserve these files for the future. Is this something that you think about?

AE | I definitely think about this and I don’t have an answer. I’m not sure I’ll ever have an answer and I think that maybe I’m ok with that.

Some days I think I’m going to get it all in order and have a system and other days I think that I do enough already with our photos and memories and that maybe that’s good enough.

I love how Noell at Paperclipping is using the metadata area to include information about her photos (Don’t know what that is? Don’t be intimidated – go read about it). I think that’s really a great simple way to include stories and additional information about stories related to the photos.

Sometimes, actually a little more than sometimes, I get really tired of the constant demand to find the “best” solution for all our stuff. This includes photos, supplies, toys, etc. There’s a lot of energy that goes into trying to think it all through let alone implement and then keep up with whatever new system has been put in place.

Maybe it’s just enough to take the photos and archive/back them up  so that they don’t get “eaten” or lost with the crash of a hard-drive or the progression of technology.

Maybe my kids will love that they can have a library of photos on their own phones/computers/etc rather than printed picture albums (neither have a phone/computer yet). Maybe that’s the way they will share their past with their friends and family in the future. Maybe instead of a box of photo albums or scrapbooks they’ll get a hard-drive with photos and images of scrapbook pages.

So yes, I think about it often. Lately, especially though putting this post together, I’ve mainly been asking myself what I want most from my photos.

What I really want is for them to be accessible to me in somewhat of an organized manner. I want to not spend a ton of time dealing with them. I want them to be available to my kids in the future just like the images from my childhood have been available to me – available might just be on a computer or phone screen – I don’t know yet.

digital life


JESSICA | I was wondering about your cameras. I know you have a DSLR and something a little fancier. But, do you ever use a point and shoot? I am thinking of investing in a ‘fancy’ camera, but I really love how easy it is to throw my point and shoot in my purse. So, I was just wondering your theories or thoughts on using cameras.

BIRGIT | I am looking for a an easy to use point and shoot camera – I love the zoom on ours. Any recommendations?

AE | I do have, and use, both a DSLR and a point and shoot (along with a couple other cameras I’ll talk about below). My preference – almost always – is for my DSLR. These days I’m using a Canon 5D and it’s what I almost always grab. Before the 5D I had the Canon Digital Rebel and it is a great camera. We have a smaller Canon Powershot point and shoot that is fine, but I have to be honest and say that I’m usually disappointed in the images that come back from that camera when compared to the images that come from my DSLR – they are just not as crisp (I’m sure there’s a more technical way to say that).

That said, I’m one of those people that enjoys playing with all sorts of cameras including an Instax, the camera on my iPhone (3GS – I’m looking forward to upgrading soon as I think the camera is better on iPhone4the ones that come from my 3GS seem super grainy), and the camera on my computer. I know when using any of these cameras that what I’m going for is simply a capture.

My iphone camera has really replaced our point and shoot in terms of convenience and portability.

Overall, the way I see it most often is that the best camera is on the one you have with you. Use what you have and use it often.

I also have to tell you that I live with my big camera – it goes in the car, in my bag (not a camera bag just whatever bag I’m carrying), on the table, to the restaurant, the swimming pool, the beach, etc. I probably don’t treat it with the respect it deserves.

Instax on the wall

TARA | I was wondering if you are still liking your fuji cameras and which one you find yourself using more….the vertical or horizontal one…I am leaning towards getting the one that takes the vertical pics but I am still not sure.

AE | Love it. Love it. Love it. I think these sorts of instant cameras are a great addition to your photo-taking toolbox. I think that I love the vertical one (mini 7S) the best – at least right now – but the horizontal one (210) is definitely getting used. I just got these great plastic photo holders (pictured above) from for displaying some of my favorite mini 7S shots (these ones are all from Greece).

05 | 06 | 2011


MEFI | Do you photoshop most of your pictures before posting or are they straight from the camera? Any books or blogs you can suggest to improve on photographic skills?

SHARON | I love to take photos, I’m just not very good. Any recommendations on how to become a better photographer and not be so scared of my camera? Any decent on-line classes you can recommend?

AE | Recently I’d say that most of the photos I post here or print for my projects are lightened a bit using Levels in Photoshop. Just a touch.

I don’t know a lot about the technical side about photography. I find I’m more interested in emotion and essence and trial and error with a pinch of acceptance thrown in for good measure. I gain knowledge in fits and starts (that’s often how I learn) and when I want/need to learn something I go searching on google. I play a lot. I take a lot of photos – most are ok, some aren’t, and a few have been magic.

As I was working on this post I came across this sentiment from photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson via Shutter Sisters: Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see. . . In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing.

I love that quote. I definitely use my camera as a tool to see my world.

My guess is that the best way to become a “better” photographer (that definition is going to be different for each person who reads it) is to take more photos, allow yourself to experiment, and take the time to immerse yourself in learning more – one shot at a time. Another idea is to identify one specific thing you want to learn and master that. Then move on to the next. And the next.

Here’s a few places I go for inspiration, education, and tips:


CHRISTINE | I am looking for a digital photo backup service. Any recommendations? I current have my photos on a second computer and a portable hard drive but I am looking into an outside service.

LISEL | I would also like to know if you have an update/any recommendations regarding an off-site backup solution (I read your blog post on Mozy from a while back). I looked into Carbonite, but they restrict bandwidth speeds after 35GB. I decided to try CrashPlan, but after I downloaded the free trial and they analyzed my data, they said it would take more than 1 year to backup my files (sheesh!). I have an EHD, but would like my files to be backed up somewhere other than home… just in case.

AE | Mozy is the backup service I’ve been using for the last year or so. They’ve recently announced they are changing their rate structure so I’ll be switching around the time my current contract with them ends. I’m looking at either CrashPlan or BackBlaze based on recommendations from people on Twitter and Facebook. Carbonite, another online backup option, is not on my list because they don’t back up external hard-drives which is a must for me.

I currently backup close to 500GB of data – photos, videos, music, work stuff. The Mozy increase for me would be going from $103 to $659. Yikes. My renewal is set to happen in 2012 so I’ve got a bit of time to decide which other service I want to go with.

Lisel – I know that with CrashPlan you can have them send you a drive that you upload to and then send back to them (pretty sure that’s how it works). You might want to look into that vs. the time listed to back up your data.


ALICIA | How often do you print your pictures? Do you print them all or just the ones you’re about to scrap? Do you have a system to stay on top of it?

AE | I tend to be a print-by-the-project person. That means I don’t regularly print out all the photos I’ve taken over a given period of time. For layouts, Project Life, mini-books, etc I usually print here at home using my HP Photosmart B8550. It’s nothing fancy but it works great. I’ve been happy with using HP printers for the last few years.

When I do a large photo printing (like the photo you see above) I most often use

I go through phases where I think I’m going to print monthly and then put the photos into albums or drawers (a la Stacy Julian – an approach I love), but it hasn’t happened for me.

Right now what works best for me is simply organizing my photos in Aperture by month (if I was using iPhoto I’d do the same thing) with a few additional folders for work projects or vacations (or other events where I take obscene amounts of photos).

Just yesterday I was listening to this Paperclipping episode (a scrapbooking podcast) where Stacy Julian talks about her photo process and her upcoming Finding Photo Freedom online class (starts June 2). What I love about the way she approaches her photo organization is that it all comes back the the stories. It’s a story-based approach.

KRIS | Have you used your Espon photo printer lately and like it any better?

AE | I ended up giving it to a friend. The fact that it didn’t print full-size 4×6 photos was a deal-breaker for me because I primarily wanted to use it for printing photos for Project Life.

BETH | I have Photoshop Elements 7.0 and I love it but it really messes up the colors if I print from there. I have been printing photos from windows or larger ones from Microsoft Publisher after saving them as a jpeg in Photoshop & reopening them in Publisher and the colors are just fine. I would love to save myself the time and hassle of the extra steps. Do you know what I am doing wrong in Photoshop?

AE | Hmmmm. I don’t have a great answer for you. Do the colors look fine when you view them in Photoshop? It sounds like there might be a “miscommunication” between your printer and Photoshop – especially if you are only having that issue when you print from Photoshop. You might want to contact Adobe or your printer manufacturer (or google both names at the same time and something like “messed up colors” and see what comes up).

MARISA | Do you also have just photo albums for some photos?

AE | I do have a few simple photo books that are just for photos (see image above). These are called Space Savers and they are made by Pioneer. Most of the photos in there are from the times when I’ve done a really big 4×6 printing: big vacations, events, heritage photos.

I don’t have any plans to print all my photos and put them in albums in addition to my scrapbooks.


JEN | I am curious how you and others out there handle your physical prints from the past. I have boxes of photos (childhood, high school, college + my husbands) and I am not planning (right now) to scrap them but I want to keep them for when I do get to that project one day or just to flip through. How do you decide what to keep (questions/process you ask yourself)? what to part with? how do you organize and store? I feel like there is a lot of focus out in blogland on digital which is valuable but I struggle with those prints from the past.

AE | Hi Jen – to be honest this is a whole class/book/concept in and of itself and I don’t think I’ll be able to do justice to your answer in this space here today. That said, here’s a look at how my older printed photos are currently dealt with:

  • Printed photos of me as a child are either in Space Savers albums (see photo above) or still in the large photo albums that came from my parents (I’ve been in the process of removing photos from those albums – there are around 20 for a few years). I’ve pulled out many of these photos to use in layouts over the years. They are organized by year because that’s how my Mom gave them to me.
  • Heritage photos are also in Space Savers albums and some are in page protectors in 8.5×11 binders. These are copies of the originals that were scanned and printed (some are so small that a bunch of them were printed on one 8.5×11 sheet). They are not organized by date but my parents did go through and jot down notes about who was in the photos if they knew.
  • My older photos from college, early married years, when Simon was born, are currently in photo boxes. These are all photos that either I or Chris have taken. Many of those photos have been used in my scrapbook layouts over the years and there are not duplicate prints of those in the boxes – there’s really not that many – maybe four or five before I moved to a digital camera. I do, however, have many of the negatives that I had transferred to digital files last year (read more about that below).

In an ideal world I would love to have all of the above in a more cohesive system rather than broken up into separate storage areas.

You might also be interested in checking out Stacy Julian’s Finding Photo Freedom online class. In addition to giving you a road map (of sorts) for organizing all those photos, what she’s really great at getting you to think about how they can work together to tell entirely different stories that link generations. It’s a more global approach to storytelling and organizing which I think is just awesome (especially for people who have access to older photos).

Also, later this year I’ll be releasing my class Yesterday & Today (it ran twice at Big Picture) as either a self-paced download class or as a book (still working that all out). That class includes a bunch of information about dealing with old photos including more information on how I store/deal with mine and how I choose stories to tell.

AMY | I am sitting on about 3000 slides my father took over a 40 year period of traveling the world. It’s amazing to think about the places he has been and he was quite a good photographer. He even wrote notes on each and every slide!!! I want to cull the images, send them off to be scanned and digitized, and get them in a photobook. The project is so daunting I’m not sure where to start.

AE | How exciting! I love that he wrote on every slide. I think I’d start by picking a specific day/weekend and dedicating it to go through the slides (it sounds like you want to do that). Do you have a slide viewer? Maybe you can rent one to view the slides one by one and make a pile for the ones you want to print and the ones you don’t care to print. I think that would actually be an awesome way to spend the day/weekend!

From there I’d send them in (read below for more information) if you can swing it and have someone else take care of the scanning. My Dad is currently scanning a ton of heritage slides one at a time (he’s retired and he loves it) and it really takes quite awhile to do it yourself.

JESSICA | We were given two large bags of old family photos. Some of these photos are from the early 1900s. There are so many that it would be overwhelming to scan them myself. Can you recommend where to send these photos for high quality scanning or even an idea of how to start the search for a local business that could do this?

AE | Last year I sent a ton (as in hundreds – actually three small notebooks full) of negatives to Scan Digital. The experience was great (it was also expensive) but I was able to get all my pre-digital negatives scanned. I sent in three small notebooks (you can see the inside of one above) in a box to them and a few weeks later (if I remember right on the timing – they keep you updated via email for the whole process) they all came back along with two DVD’s of all the images. I’m currently backing those disks up to one of my external hard-drives as well.

ScanDigital currently has a 10% off promotion when you use the code springcleaning10.

I’ve also had good experience talking with people from ScanCafe, and have heard good feedback from people who have used them) but I have not personally used their services. Looks like they also have a promotion running through the end of May: 10% off regular scanning – use code 10SPRING (Restrictions Apply) Expires 5/31/11.

My cousin used Kinko’s to scan in a bunch of our grandparents photos. Those turned out just fine as well.

If you want to do something local I’d definitely check with a local photo shop if you have one in your town. I’d bet they might have a recommendation (or a non-recommendation) for someone offering services like this in your city.

02 | 08 | 2011


ANNA | Do you have a list of photos you take often or like to take? Ex: Things around your house, Kids playing, Dinner, Etc. I would love a list of photos to get in the habit of taking to better document my stories.

AE | Love this question. I don’t have a specific list. I go so much by gut reactions to wanting to freeze something I’m seeing in time – but here’s some things I do love to regularly capture (I’ve linked to examples when I could find them):

  • Kids sitting at the dining room table eating or doing activities.
  • The view into a kids room from out in the hallway (the whole idea of “looking in”) – usually in these shots the kid is doing something in their bedroom. Example here.
  • Relationships. Photos that show Simon and Anna interacting – doing something together. I like photos that show them in our environment, doing the things we do, vs. having them pose for a photo.
  • Myself (with or without others) in mirrors.
  • The way the seasons change and what that looks like both inside and outside our house.
  • Foods we are eating and cooking.
  • Everyday stuff from different views – getting down low or up high and taking photos that way vs. the regular straight-on shot.

Really I just take so many photos of normal everyday stuff. That’s what it’s all about for me – that’s what I love.

Have you done my Week In The Life project yet? If not you might want to join in this year – it’s a really great exercise and opportunity to force yourself into the process of taking photos. I think it’s through a process project like that that you really SEE what you love and what you’d like to capture more of in the future.

You can also check out many more of my photos on Flickr.

MELISSA | How do you get yourself out of a non-photo-taking rut? In other words, how do you make yourself pick up the camera again and shoot? I only have one child and he’s 13. He doesn’t participate in a ton of activities (band at school and church youth group) and I find it very difficult to find new things to take photos of. I work full time (but only for another month as the Army has decided to move us yet again) and I find it difficult to pick up the camera and shoot day in and day out. (Get up, breakfast, make lunches, put son on bus, clean up from breakfast, take shower, go to work, come home, make dinner, clean up, do some housework and/or laundry, sit down, watch TV, read blogs, sort photos on computer from the weekend, go to bed). It blows my mind (in a good way) that you take photos every day. But I don’t know how to get myself excited about taking photos day after day. And take pictures of what?????

AE | I know what that rut feels like. I’ve been there. Most of the time I try to adjust my thinking and just look at it from the perspective that I probably need a break or something else needs my attention. I also know that eventually I’ll get inspired and excited about taking photos again – it always comes back.

As I was reading your question (and especially after I’d just gone looking for examples for the previous question) one thing that struck me is this: all those things you mentioned – getting up, breakfast, tv, blogs, bus, work, make dinner, laundry, etc – those are all things that I LOVE to take photos of (most of the images I linked there came from my Week In The Life 2010 project). Those pieces of everyday life are the bulk of all the photos I’ve taken over the years. Some of them are silly and not great and some of them are magic – but they all came about because I was using my camera to capture the basic stuff of our lives.

I don’t always take a photo everyday. Some days I just don’t feel like it. But almost everyday I see something in my life – in my own house – that I want to capture with my camera. It becomes is a shift in how you see your life. All those little things are what I want to capture – they are things I want to remember.

When I think back over my own life the things I’d personally love to have photos of are the simple little everyday stuff from when I was growing up – favorite toys, what my room looked like, favorite foods, daily routines, etc. That perspective informs the images I choose to take pictures of today.

Some things to think about: What do you love about your life? What places in your home do you love? What do you cook regularly (and if you don’t who does and how can you capture that piece). What do you love about your work? What’s your son into right now?


SUZ | I would love to know your work flow for resizing pics to post on your blog or on various galleries online. Some have size requirements and it’s frustrating at times to have to keep resizing them just to post them. I have quit shooting in RAW so that the pic size isn’t so large AND tried to save at medium rather than high quality setting. It would just be so nice to simply upload a pic without having to resize. SO inefficient with time usage, KWIM?

AE | I totally get what you’re talking about. I’m not sure that my personal process is streamlined, efficient or even simple (actually I don’t think it’s any of those right now), but here’s what I’ve been doing for years.

  1. Open photo in Aperture (or iPhoto in the past) – this is my photo organizing program where all my photos live.
  2. Drag photo to open in Photoshop.
  3. Adjust levels/curves/color if necessary.
  4. Resize image for blog to 800 pixels wide at 72 dpi (that’s my preferred size even though on screen you see it as 500 pixels – this way if people click on the image they can see it larger in a new window).
  5. “Save as” to my desktop.
  6. Upload into blog post from my desktop.
  7. Place image from desktop into garbage (it’s now stored in my blog program’s archives).

Something new I’m trying (and thinking about using more regularly) is to send my photo straight from Aperture to Flickr at full resolution using the Export command. Some people I know (like Jennifer at Simple Scrapper and Katie the Scrapbook Lady) both use Flickr as their online photo backup and I’m interested in that idea – especially since you can make some photos public and some private. You can listen to Jennifer and Katie talk about using Flickr for just about everything in this episode of Paperclipping Roundtable: Years Of Mediocre Layouts. From there I grab the html code to add it to my blog (I’ve got that set to adjust to 500 pixels wide) – the image above is an example of grabbing the code. From Flickr I can also send to Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.

This post is part of a 2011 Memory Keeping Q&A series. Additional posts in this series will be listed below as they are posted. Past Q&A posts are available via the Category Archives here.

Products | Photos | Inspiration | Motivation & Time | Anna’s Baby Album


  • 1.
    Stacy said…

    Absolutely fabulous information. Thank you. I am wondering specifically about the resolution you chose for scanning your negatives (2000 or 4000 dpi)? Were you happy with the size you chose or would you change that if you could? I am thinking things like perhaps you can’t print big enough if you chose the smaller size or maybe the larger size showed every imperfection (dust, scratches, etc.) Any advice would be great. It’s a lot of money and I want to get the best results possible. Thanks again. :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Stacy – thank you. I’m not sure which resolution I went with but I opened up a couple of the files earlier – they are all around 16MB each. Some definitely show imperfections and some are grainy but they are definitely large enough for most things I could imagine doing with them.

  • 2.
    Christine said…

    Thanks Ali for taking the time to post this. I know everyone will find it extremely helpful. :)

  • 3.
    Sara said…

    Thanks for all the information – you’ve helped a lot! I really like the Space Saver albums but I was wondering, about how thick are they when full of pictures? I didn’t see any dimensions on

  • 4.
    Zanne said…

    I can’t get the code u posted for ScanDigital to work :(

    • ….
      meredith said…

      try AFRESHSPACE which just gave me a 10% discount

  • 5.
    Doris said…

    Holy Moly what a lot of work this must be to go through.
    You are awesome Ali for doing it.

  • 6.
    Liz Ness said…

    Oh what a wonderful collection of insight and thanks so much for sharing about Great Photos Plus, Ali (you rock, girlfriend!). =)

  • 7.
    slmnontec said…

    How fun to get so many questions answered and to have access to so many links. Went to quite a few sites. That was inspiring in itself. And thanks for taking SO much time doing it…It’s appreciated.

  • 8.
    Kim said…

    Wow, thank you so much for putting your time into creating this post. I found it all very intriguing and useful and I loved the thought you put into writing this all up. Thank you!

  • 9.
    dawn said…

    Hi Ali, I don’t know how you find the time to do all you do, you are awesome. Thank you so much for all the thoughts and work you are putting into answering all these questions. I was expecting a one day only post that would cover it all. You always go over and beyond for us, so thank you again.

    For Melissa, who is in the post above about what to take pictures of and just having a 13yrold. I can relate to your question and think Ali did a great job answering you. I have a teen and tween and they don’t always like their photo taken. So like Ali said I think back to my childhood and what I wish I could remember more of and my little habits, books I read, anything about my life. So when the kids are at school I take pictures of their room when it’s cleaned and not cleaned, their walls, their collections, closets, bags, anything that says something about who they are at the moment. They may not appreciate it all the time right now but when they are much older they will. Also what I’ve been doing is handing the camera to them and letting them get the pictures for the day or week. It’s always fun when they give the camera back and I upload their pictures and find all kinds of fun things they captured. They seem more happy when they are the picture taker so maybe you could do that. Have you done project life with Ali yet, it totally changed my whole way of taking pictures. There are so many little moments that I captured because she has taught me to slow down and see things that have always been their but I didn’t know it. So I hope you are feeling better and more motivated to take pictures now for what Ali said and hope I helped a little too. Good luck.

  • 10.
    CLee said…

    Photoshop has a color setting for your files CMYK (for printing) or RGB (for screen) could this be the problem for the person having the weird color printing issue? Maybe it converts it when she opens the file in Microsoft Photo. Just a thought, not sure….

  • 11.
    Noelle said…

    Ali, I love all your answers. I have a suggestion for Beth, who was having issues with the colors when she prints the photos. I have my print settings set so that the colors are RGB and I have the printer manage the colors. I had that set in Photoshop Elements 6 and now again in version 9. Once I got it set that way, the photos on my HP printer came out fabulous. I also pay for some decent quality paper (I watch for sales at Staples), and I make sure the photos are printed at Best quality instead of Normal quality. It uses more ink, but they look better.

    It took me a couple months of trial and error to figure what settings worked best for my particular printer. So I suggest she try out the different settings and print test photos.

    • ….
      Rachel Witthaus said…

      I have the same issue as Beth with my PSE8 not printing in the correct tones. On the screen they are correct but it seems to affect the skin tones the worst making them very pink/red. I can print the same photo in windows photo gallery and get a perfect result. I’m just glad to know it’s not just me with the issue!

    • ….
      Cynthia said…

      I also had the same problem with PSE 8. I calibrated my computer settings (check your factory default settings) which changed things completely. I am now using PSE 9 without any problems in print quality.

    • ….
      Melinda Kirk said…

      Thanks for posting that Noelle, I was madly looking for the Paperclipping post where the need to set the colour preferences across the whole process chain was explained so well, that worked a treat for me :)

  • 12.
    Jennifer Hurley said…

    Thanks for putting together such a great post, Ali! In the “dealing with old photos” section of this post, I noticed the question from Amy about the 3000 slides that she has from her father. I have a slide scanner and have done many large slide scanning jobs for other people at an affordable rate, as well as create custom photo books with those images. I would be happy to help anyone out. Feel free to contact me if you are interested.

  • 13.
    Melissa said…

    I have 658GB of data at Mozy right now. I pay $88 a year through May 2012. After that it would appear it will cost almost $1500 for that same amount of data. You know, if I don’t take anymore pictures ever. I had no idea they had changed their pricing schedule. I am so glad I read this post. I want to cry, but am thankful I saw this here.

  • 14.
    Jeryn said…

    What an excellent blog post! I have been a bad, bad memory keeper. I’ve had my DLSR for about a year and have barely used it and you know what my number one excuse is? It’s too bulky. But now that I know you bring yours in your purse everywhere you go I’m inspired. truly. Thanks!!

  • 15.
    Annette said…

    Thanks again for such awesome information. Love that part about learning and the little pinch of acceptance thrown in.

  • 16.
    Beth said…

    Thank you for taking the time to answer Ali. The colors do look ok on the screen, it was just when I was printing them from Photoshop. I changed my settings to let the printer manage the color instead of Photoshop (thanks to Noelle for suggesting that) and it really made a huge difference. The colors look so much better!

    Also, thank you Ali for the idea of a Library of photos on a hard drive for my kids someday. The thought had never crossed my mind and I really think it would be nice to do that for them.

  • 17.
    Meghann said…

    Ali, thank you for taking the time to write this post! I got A LOT out of it. One quick question. On resizing photos for the web, you had a screen print of your Flickr gallery on there. Do you use Flickr for uploading your photos to your blog?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Meghann – right at the end of the post/end of that question I talk about how that’s something I’m starting to do now. There’s a link to a couple people who use Flickr for their photo-back up and a link to a podcast where they talk a bit about their workflow. I just need to see if transitioning to that workflow will make sense for me :) – so far it does.

    • ….
      Anna Kristina said…

      My husband and I use Flickr as our photo backup – $25 a year for unlimited photos. And then I use that to embed photos on our blog. It’s helpful for us, because we edit (reduce the number) by picking the best shots to upload. And with privacy settings, you can upload ones you don’t want to share and simply set the privacy settings differently for those photos (friends/family only, or only for you). It’s easy, and I feel like it helps me multitask – share, blog, and backup all in one!

  • 18.
    Claire said…

    Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing all this information. As a beginner to scrapbooking and an increasingly enthusiastic photographer this is such an invaluable resource. So much to review and address in my own approaches. Thanks again.

  • 19.
    Sonu Mitts said…

    Ali – thanks for all the wonderful information. I had a question about the service you used to have your negatives scanned. Were you nervous at all that your negatives would get lost or accidently destroyed? That thought prevents me from sending them off to a scanning service.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Sure – I felt a little nervous. But the desire to get the job completed overtook any bit of nervousness.

    • ….
      Sally Calligan said…

      I had 40years of photos scanned and I can not tell you hoow freeing it was. Do it. Then I sent the boxes to a daughter and told here to take care of them .

  • 20.
    Pedita said…

    Wow, thanks for such a detailed post about the little things that happen in the background. Much I’ll come back to and digest and blog hop from. The whole photo organising thing is a constant battle for me, and I love to hear how others approach it. Ta!

  • 21.
    Stephanie said…

    Thanks Ali for sharing all this info. So useful! I want to add a comment for your reader Melissa who is in a photo-taking rut…I am also a mil. spouse, so I felt for her when she talked about moving, yet again. That is one of the reasons I started taking so many pics which evolved into this hobby of scrapping for me. I wanted to document everywhere we’ve been, the experiences we’ve had along the way. It’s so great for our family to look at our albums and remember, for example, our first duty station, our first house, our fifth duty station, the house where our son was born, etc. Melissa, maybe you can be inspired by your upcomming move to take pics of where you are now, what your house looks like, the school your son attends, all of the seemingly mundane everyday ordinary, but I think that’s the “good stuff” of daily life. :) Good luck w/ your upcomming PCS and happy snapping!

  • 22.
    Kathy(kathyb) said…

    Hi Ali,
    Great post as always.
    Are you still using your Selphy printer for Project Life? Are you pleeased with the quality of print etc? I’d love to hear your views on the Slephy in general. Thanks :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Kathy – I actually answered this above (I know – it was a really big post :) ). I ended up giving it away because the prints are not “true” 4×6 – they are smaller and because I wanted to use it mainly for Project Life it was important to me that the prints be actual 4×6′s.

  • 23.
    Cynthia said…

    Thank you for such an awesome post! There is a lot of information in here….will take a bit of time to digest it all (and source out what is available and practical for me in Canada – we don’t always have the same types of sources, companies aren’t always willing to send across the border and the cost of things in Canada can be so much more expensive).

    I have a 5D as well which I LOVE although I must admit I probably abuse mine a bit as well; they seem up to the task though – a couple of weeks ago my 5D fell out of a shopping cart (not in my bag properly) right onto the concrete. Thankfully I had a lens protector cap on and it was the only victim. It is a camera definitely worth the investment.

    I really appreciate all the time and thought you have taken to answer the questions – again so much valuable information!

  • 24.
    Suzie Perrie said…

    Thanks for answering all these! I always learn so much.

  • 25.
    Rhonda H said…

    Wow, Ali. A much needed post. I regularly ramble through in my mind many of these exact problems. My childhood was during “the slide era”, if you know what I mean, and since I have lost both of my parents in the last 3 years, I have inherited lots of new material to work with. (note to self, must get slide viewer.)

    Also, in reference to digital storage, Stacy Julian mentions her “storage keys” in her Library of Memories online class at Big Picture , and that might be a solution for some. She also uses storage binders to house prints until they are ready to be scrapbooked or filed in other ways, much like the space saving binders you showed. A new online version of her “Library of Memories” begins June 2, and as an alum, I highly recommend it. It has truly changed my view of and process of memory keeping.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Definitely agree about Stacy’s class (I mention it a couple times in the post) and recommend it. I’ll be taking the updated version again as I always learn something new or things are simply different around here and I see things differently than I did in the past.

  • 26.

    Not sure if she will get this but this is for Amy (whose dad had 3000 slides), I am a club member at Costco and had all of our old negatives digitized by them. I brought my negatives in multiple negatives album to Costco and within days they had them on disks for me. It was the best investment made. So you can look up a wholesale club near you and call them to see if they have this service and consider purchasing a membership just so you can access their lower rates and the local service. If you are comfortable looking online for other similar service providers, and feel comfortable mailing off the slides to them, that’s an option too. I hope everything works out for you!


    • ….
      Ali said…

      Oh cool Grace – I didn’t know they offered this service too.

    • ….
      amyw said…

      Thanks for the suggestion Grace. I will definitely check this out.

  • 27.
    Lynn Mercurio said…

    Thank you so much Ali for taking the time to create and post these very informative articles. Your processes and suggestion save me a ton of time when I apply them to my own process. You are so very appreciated!

  • 28.
    Lynn W said…

    Absolutely wonderful post! Thanks, Ali! You give me hope that maybe I’m not as disorganized as I thought. I can see that we all are struggling with the same issues. I appreciate the photos in the post to visually see what you are working with. I just signed up this morning before reading your post for Stacy’s Photo Freedom class so this info is very helpful. Thank you so much!

  • 29.
    Stacy said…

    Love what you said in the ‘Global Issues of Photos’ part. I, too, get tired of all the energy that goes into trying to figure out the best storage solutions for various household things (photos, toys, etc.) It can be so overwhelming. I’m really enjoying your Q&A series.

  • 30.
    Jennifer Levin said…

    Thank you, Ali, for all this information! It’s A LOT of work to put together everything you did here, but I so appreciate it!!! I can’t wait to see what Q & A information you’ll have for us next. Hope you all have a great weekend! ~Jen

  • 31.
    Helen Shields said…

    Just wanted to say to the lady that was frustrated with the colour of her photos coming out via her photoshop program that I had the same problem initially. I bought a screen calibrator which was a huge help, although I use this on the basic of settings (not massively computer minded!). But the main thing I do is go into my printer properties when I am about to print (I have an Epson Photo 1400) and change my settings from Epson Vivid to Adobe RGB. It makes a massive difference to how my pictures print out. They match the screen almost perfectly. Try fiddling around in your printer settings and see if you can select Adobe RGB somewhere it may work!!

  • 32.
    Kim G said…

    Thanks Ali
    This post must have been a lot of work for you to create. I appreciate it. I know that I am still overwhelmed by my photos and my memory-saving systems. My favorite part of this post was that there doesn’t have to be a ‘best’ system. And someday our kids may just be looking at picture with their phones and computers! I will definitely be referring back to this post again and again.
    Thank you! Have a great weekend :)

  • 33.
    cinback said…

    Two years ago I took the Photographer’s Workshop online with Karen Russell that you mentioned in your post. It was the best money I ever spent! My husband bought me amy first DSLR (and first SLR) for Christmas and for a year I only used it Automatic, very overwhelmed by all the buttons and options. I decided it was time to learn about my camera and signed up for Karen’s class. It was revolutionary for me. She has such passion for photography and for teaching. She is so humble and knowledgeable. She is a fantastic teacher and I learned not only about buttons and dials, but how to ‘see’ through the lens, as mentioned in your quote. For over 2 years now, I have been shooting without flash and have developed a real interest in lighting. I certainly don’t know everything, even though Karen covers pretty much everything, but taking the class set in motion for me a desire to learn as much as I can about photography purely for the enjoyment of it. I highly recommend Karen’s class.

  • 34.
    elizabeth said…

    thank you so much for taking the time to share!

  • 35.
    amyw said…

    This post is full of great information. Thanks for answering my question and taking the time to address all the questions posted. It’s much appreciated!

  • 36.
    Mel H said…

    For those having problems with color printing…it is so important to calibrate your monitor to your printer/end processor. I work in a professional shop where we do a lot of graphic design and printing, and our results vary from printer to printer…you can calibrate your monitor to adjust for this and eliminate 90% of the problem. This article does a good job of explaining the basics…though it can get much more complicated.

  • 37.
    Mefi said…

    Thank you for answering my question.

  • 38.
    jenn shurkus said…

    thank you ali for taking the time to answer these questions… it def got my brain thinking and ideas flowing ;) much appreciated!!

  • 39.
    Nicole said…

    Love this post Ali! Like a lot of other people, I often stress about the storage and backup of the thousands of photos I take every year. I now do a weekly backup to an external hard drive and have Carbonite online backup also (although I’m thinking about switching to CrashPlan after hearing Steph talking about it on the Paperclipping Digi Show). I haven’t yet been brave enough to move anything completely off of my computer onto an external drive, but I know that one day I’ll have to.

    I also whole-heartedly agree with the ‘the best camera is the one you have with you’ mantra. I have a Canon dSLR which I LOVE, and a Canon point-and-shoot which has basically been replaced by my recent iPhone 4 purchase. Although the pictures from the iPhone 4 still aren’t GREAT, I’ve taken so many photos in the last few weeks that I wouldn’t have taken if I didn’t have it.

    Thanks for all your work on this one!!

  • 40.
    Melissa said…

    Wow, lots of great information and insight in this post. Thanks for sharing and linking to so many resources and examples.

  • 41.
    Birgit said…

    Hello Ali,

    Thank you for taking the time to explain it all. I really appreciate it. I took your Yesterday & Today class this year and think it would be wonderful to have a book that goes along with it. I am one of those old fashioned people who prefers books, magazines, newspapers over the “digital versions”.

  • 42.
    MrsHolmes said…

    You provide such great information and are so generous to share your life with us.

    The WSJ just published an article re: organizing and managing digital images.

    The title of the article is, “Make organizing your photos a snap.”

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Oh cool – definitely going to check that out. Thank you.

  • 43.
    tiffany h. said…

    Thanks so very much for this q+a series. I really appreciate all the time you’ve put into researching and answering all these questions. I always learn something new from you, thanks again!

  • 44.
    Tanya said…

    I was backing up 400GB+ of storage myself through Mozy, then the price change happened and I too, was forced to change plans as my agreement was up. I went to Carbonite, and realized they don’t back up the externals. Thankfully I only paid for 1 year, but will definitely be changing – if you hear more from your readers about different services, would love to hear what people have to say!

  • 45.
    Maureen said…

    Thanks for a fabulous tutorial on memory keeping Ali. You do an amazing job in your explanations and are a trainer par excellence!

    btw, you will love your 4G when you upgrade. I call it my camera that takes phone calls.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Just went and got it today :)

  • 46.
    Gypsy said…

    I use a programme (Free online) called ‘VSO Image resizer’ to resize images for emailing, uploading and posting… You can do single photos or batch lots. Plus it has a whole bunch of options for things like converting from a PSD to jpeg and other such stuff. It is very easy to use and of course you can play around till you get the settings that suit you.

  • 47.
    Debbie P said…

    For Photo storage I had used a flash drive since it was a quick source but feel I may get a hard drive to store them. Using other avenues that are not in my control freak me out a bit.


  • 48.
    ShellyP said…

    In reference to the comments about scanning slides, my local WalMart was able to scan for me. They didn’t turn out well, photos on disc they made were sideways, upside down, etc. I was able to rotate them and save to another disc, if I remember correctly it was kinda expensive. I only had them do one as kind of an experiment. Does anyone remember those old cameras that when the film developed it was on a round disc, kinda like a slide? I have so many of these that I’d like to have pictures printed from, contacted several on-line places, but was too nervous to send them in the mail-all pictures of my daughter when she was little. If anyone has had an experience with these, I’d be interested in how you re-developed prints. Thanks.

  • 49.
    Lynnette said…

    Thank you so much for this information. There is just so much great content here – I feel like I should be paying for this! Great stuff Ali.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks Lynette – visiting and supporting my advertisers is a great way to support the work I do here (and letting them know you are coming to them via my site).

  • 50.
    Mary said…

    thank you, thank you, thank you…

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