18,159 Photos - how to deal

18,159 photos on my computer. I don't even want to know how many gigs that is. I do know I have a 350 gig hard drive, which I suspect is filling up quickly.  I suppose I could give you a screen shot of this number or try to give you one giant thumbnail of all the little thumbnails, but I can't.
I know there are a lot of you just like me...both traditional and digital scrapbookers that have an overwhelming number of photos to process through. I believe the problem of too many photos has gotten worse mostly due to my love of photography and the world of digital. Not to mention, the oh-so-easy-to snap 850 Grad Photos of my daughters on my Nikon DSLR. Keep in mind, I have three daughters, two of which I have already photographed for Graduation. That means 850x2. Ouch!  Oops, I forgot my son has already graduated as well, so add that number too.
What is scary about this number is the few that have been printed, whether in print format or book. What I realized today, looking through them on Iphoto, was the vast amount of memories that are forgotten from not printing them.  I mean forgotten.  So many moments captured that are for my computer's eyes to see. Hmmmm....I remember (I sound old here) back in the day when I would get piles of prints back from the lab, sort them, and start scrapbooking them. Looking back through the 25+ scrapbooks created, all of us in our family can relive those memories.  We can't relive them, however, if those newer memories are stuck on my computer.  Are they even memories if no one can relive them again? Or are they just images?
My call to all of you, myself included, is to get busy! If we need to, let's get back to basics...
  • Print 50 photos out a month - easy to do with Shutterfly. Have them shipped straight to our door. Now, you have no excuses!  Slap them in a scrapbook on plain cardstock, don't worry about embellishments or EEGADS, put them in a traditional photo album.  You gasp with horror, I know. The scrapbooker in us could never allow THAT! What about all the cool supplies clogging our studios and basements? I am the first to know about that - I have a vast amount of Cloud 9 products from my days as Founder/Creative Director.  Use, what you have that doesn't overwhelm you. Set out a limited amount of colors in your cardstock. Limit your embellishment types to 2. Just do it. When you put a limit on things, your creativity soars and your productivity increases. Or there is another alternative...
  • Do a photo book with Shutterfly or Blurb. I have used both and they are both great quality. Blurb is a bit less expensive, but if you sign up with Shutterfly, you get a lot of special offers. I just did one 8x8 album for free with them. Yes, FREE! You can either do your own digitally scrapbooked pages and create your own book, or you can use one of their templates.  Both rock! If you don't like the idea of scrapping or the photo album trick, then yes, there are other alternatives.
Reminder, get those photos printed. Do in small batches for time management and the overwhelming factor.
  • Place those printed photos in a cute basket on the coffee table. There is something so tactile about this, that almost everyone will pick them up and look at them. Who cares if there is fingerprints on them? (You have the originals on your computer, backed up to an external drive, right??? Ahem... don't forget that!)
  • Punch 2 holes in the left side of the photos and ring clip together. I think I got this idea from Ali Edwards. I can tell you, that I have two such little albums on my dining room buffet and they constantly get looked at. I have even included little paper scraps etc that mean something to me
  • Grab an iron greeting card holder (the kind for Christmas cards), pop in your photos and display on your wall or desk. Pottery Barn has cute ones, but I have seen them other places.
  • Paste photos into your journal, diary, art journal, sketchbook, or calendar. Get them somewhere you can enjoy them. Make it personal.
  • Brag-book it. Get the inexpensive ones from Target, the Dollar Store or Walmart and toss them in there. Most hold a standard roll of film. What's a roll of film, you ask? I know, I can barely remember. 24 prints. So, you can get 2 little bragbooks for probably $5 and you can store those 50 prints a month in them. How about placing those brag books in that cute coffee table basket
  • Frame them! Yes, now everyone could really enjoy them, even the UPS or FedEx driver can view your beautiful creations. Because, yes, they will be hanging in your front entry hall for the world to see. I know, this seems like an obvious one, but how many of us really do this? There are cool collage frames, big frames, little frames, all kinds of frames that will highlight your photos and elevate them to ART!  How cool are you now?
  • PROJECT LIFE IT! Do this - now! If you are overwhelmed, jump aboard the Project Life memory keeping lifestyle. It's so easy and fun! I am a firm believer in getting memories down, because life is short and use this system myself.  Find how to at: www.beckyhiggins.com
Now, I am sure, I will think of all kinds of other ideas after I publish this post. If any of you have any ideas you want to add, please do so in the comments section. It's always fun to hear how others deal with 18,159 photos, isn't it?
I'm off to upload some prints! Enjoy!

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