Legacy Tale

7 ways to manage your photo library

Ah, photo management. How I love, er, hate...okay. I love photos, but HATE keeping them organized. Fortunately, technology makes photo management much easier, you just have to know where to start. That's often the hardest part, and that's what we aim to accomplish with these 7 great tips for digital photo library management.

  • 1. Use a photo manager app 
  • 2. your phone is a scanner
  • 3. Include details
  • 4. Use cloud storage
  • 5. metadata is your friend
  • 6. clean as you go
  • 7. make photo books

Use the metadata to preserve the story

If you're using a photo management product like Google Photos or Amazon Prime Photos, you don't need to worry about metadata.

Metadata includes a lot of information that most people don't care about. However, you can use the comment field of a jpg (the most common photo file format) to tell the story of the picture. There is no character limit, so you can be as detailed as you want. Just remember that when you upload a photo to most social media channels, the metadata is NOT retained. It will still be there with the original file, just not for others you share with. It also may not be retained with the photo management option you use.

Accessing the metadata of a photo

There are a number of ways to view the metadata (also called EXIF data). In Windows, right click the file, select properties, then the details tab, and the metadata will display. For a Mac, open Photos, select the picture and hit Command + I (that's the letter "i").

There are other options too. You can use online tools like VerExif.com, browser plugins like Exify for Firefox or Exif Viewer for Chrome, or you can still install an application on your computer (like Exif Data Viewer or Simple Exif Viewer for Mac OS).

If you're really into metadata (or want to get into it), look into these options. For most people who want to see all the metadata, I recommend just using the properties window (for Windows) or the Photo application (for Mac).

Hopefully these tips give you some new ideas and/or motivation to get organized. While it does take a commitment to get and keep your photo library organized, it's not nearly as difficult as it used to be. Still have a question? Scroll to the bottom and click the "Contact Us" link. We'd love to help you make and keep memories.

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