Now is a great time to be organising your travel photos and finding some kind of storage and display solution for all those gorgeous travel memories. So many people have memory cards, hard drives and phones filled with photos that will never see the light of day again because they’re hidden away in a chaotic mess somewhere in virtual cyberspace.
Don’t let that happen to your travel photos!
Today I want to share my tips to organise your photos, how to keep them organised, make sure you don’t lose any and the best ways to display them.
Organising your travel photos into digital folders will make it easier to find them and you’ll probably find some old gems you’d forgotten about. It’ll be easier to dig out your favourite pictures and print them out to display around your home or give them to people as gifts (I do love a sentimental photo as a cheap gift idea!)
Most of us are unable to travel at the moment due to the lockdown restrictions. You’ve probably got a bit of extra time on your hands so why not spend some time reminiscing about past travels while organising your travel photos?
I’ve admitted it before that I’m not a naturally organised person, but due to my job as a travel blogger I absolutely have to keep my photos organised! If I’m working on a campaign or I go on a press trip, I can’t lose or misplace any photos. I can’t go and stay in a hotel and then I come to write the review realise I’ve lost all my photos!
I also can’t be in that situation where I go to take a photo and realise my memory card is full! And if a client comes to me and says, ‘We need that photo you took five years ago, we’ll pay you if you can send it to us ASAP!’ I want to be able to dig it out quickly and send it right over!
So yea, my photos are really organised. My hard drive is probably the most organised part of my life!
Here’s how I organise my travel photos while I’m travelling
I backup my memory cards every evening
I always travel with my laptop and each evening while I’m away I backup my memory cards before I go to bed. I’ll usually be backing them up while I’m getting ready for bed as it can sometimes take a few minutes to transfer all the files so it’s perfect to do while brushing your teeth and removing make up!
I do it every single evening because anything could happen to your memory card the following day. The last thing you want to do is keep all your photos from a two week holiday on the same memory card and then lose that card on the last day of your holiday. I usually travel with 3-4 memory cards so I don’t normally wipe them until I’m home.
Travel Hack Tip
Before you begin taking photos, make sure your cameras are all set to the correct time and date. This is particularly important if you’re shooting on multiple cameras. It doesn’t matter if your camera doesn’t adjust to the local time zone, as long as all your cameras are set to the same time. This just makes it much easier to find photos if they’ve got the correct time and date stamp on them.
#1. I buy a new hard drive every year
I buy a 1TB hard drive every year (sometimes every other year) and write the year on that hard drive with permanent marker. This means that when I travel, I’m not taking all my travel photos with me as most of my hard drives are safely stored at home.
For the past few years I’ve been buying this hard drive and haven’t had any problems.
#2. I create new folders on the hard drive for each trip I take (and then add subfolders in subfolders in subfolders!)
Within that folder I’ll separate it into daily folders like ‘Paris day 1’ ‘Paris day 2’ or if I’ve done specific activities on each day I name them ‘Paris – Eiffel Tower’ ‘Paris – Bike ride’.
Here’s an example from a 5 day trip to Montenegro:
#3. Within the daily folders I’ll separate it into ‘Photos’ and ‘Video files’
#4. Within the daily photos folder I’ll have a folder ‘Best of’ folder
I’ll put anywhere between 2-40 of the best photos I’ve taken that day. If I’m honest, the other photos that don’t make it into the ‘best of’ folder are rarely seen again but I can’t bring myself to delete them.
#5. Edit the ‘best of’ folder
I don’t do any major edits but I’ll usually lighten and sharpen the handful of photos in the ‘best of’ album. I’ll also rename them for SEO purposes for my blog (this is only necessary if you’re planning to share them online)
These steps take about 20 minutes to do if they’re done each evening while travelling. But if you leave it until you get home after a trip it can take SO LONG! It’s such a mammoth task that I’ll put it off and put it off until it never gets done.
#6. I have monthly folders for the kids
I’ll usually take 2-3 photos every day of the kids so at the end of the month I’ll create a monthly folder such as ‘Kids June 2020’
#7. I use Airdrop or the leef iBridge to transfer photos from my phone
I’m also meticulous about storing the photos I’ve taken on my phone. They’re often crappy photos but I know these are the everyday moments I’ll look back on and treasure. I store these as ‘Phone June 2020’
#8. I print my favourite photos every month using the Free Prints app
This is an app from Photobox that gives you 50 free prints a month. My kids have scrapbooks and photo albums they add these photos to and lots of them get pinned up on notice boards around the house.
The reason I like this app best is because I use PhotoBox for most of my ‘proper photo printing’ (things like large prints for the walls and proper photo books) so all my favourite photos are already stored within my PhotoBox profile when I come to create photobooks and other gifts.
I made monthly photo books for George when he was a baby. I kept it up for 8 months and already regret not doing it for Joseph and Alba too.
#9. I make yearly photo books
Each Christmas I make a photo book for my mum. I’ve been doing this since George was born and I honestly think it’s one of the highlights of Christmas for her!
It gets a little bit better each year because we have this growing stack of photobooks and we’ll flick through them all to see how much everyone has grown and changed over the years. I’m so pleased I’ve continued doing this and I can’t wait to look through them in another 5-10 years time when we have a full 15 years worth of family photo books.
#10. I’ll upload my best photos to Google Albums
And finally, as an extra backup measure, I’ll then upload some of my very best and favourite photos to a Google Album. For me, this is usually just for work-related photos as I find Google Albums is an easy way to share photos with my clients – but it’s also another good backup option.
#11. Don’t forget about Instagram
As much as we all love to hate Instagram, don’t forget that is it a gorgeous place to store your photos and memories. I love scrolling back through my Instagram feed to bring back memories from my travels. Even if you set your profile to private, I think it’s a lovely place to keep your memories online in a simple, visual app.
That’s how I store travel photos. Obviously it’s one of those things that’s easy to do if it’s done daily or weekly or after every trip, but feels like a massive chore if you’ve got years of photos to organise! But if that’s you, I seriously urge you to just get it done. It’s like when you declutter your house, it feels so good when you’ve done it and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!