Tuesday, May 19, 2009

postheadericon Organizing your Photos

Since I wrote the previous 3 articles on heritage, I have been working at organizing my photos and other heritage ephemera. Years ago I taught a class on sorting photos. Loved the ladies who came to the class with big paper bags of old photos. Here was my method.

STEP 1. Dump ALL of the photos in one pile. This may be proceeded days or weeks of gathering photos from nooks and crannies if you don't already have them in one place.

STEP 2. Turn all of the photos FACE DOWN. Oh my, I had a time convincing the ladies to do that. If you don't you will get lost looking at the photos. It always happens. All in good time.

STEP 3. Start sorting the photos by size. Some would gather a stack of random photos and tap them on 2 sides and sort them, making piles of each size and then gather up another handful. Whatever works until you have piles of different sizes and have worked your way through the whole big mess of photos. At this point put each stack in separate baggies (NOT for storage...not safe) and put them aside.

STEP 4. Then take one size at a time and sort into new piles according to things like edges (remember the deckle edge on photos from the 50s?), marks on the back, even if the marks are just roller marks. If the photos are numbered on the back so much the better. The numbers will help put photos from a single roll of film together.

STEP 5. Bag them up again with photos that match on the back in one bag. You may use a LOT of baggies!

STEP 6. NOW take out one batch at a time and look at the fronts. In many cases you will have photos all taken at one time. If you can identify one person or the event or the date from one photo you will be able to figure out some of the other photos, events, people. Label the baggie, then, with a Post-It note stuck to the inside of the baggie and, when possible stack them in a box by date as you sort them.

This is where I was when I discovered ORGANIZED PHOTOS. I had been searching the Internet for "glassine" envelopes for storing my old photos safely. This site not only sells great supplies but has a book with a method for sorting ALL of your photos in just 10 days. Where was that when I was sorting?

So, now all of my photos are sorted and in photo safe boxes, inside archival envelopes with the information written on the outside. Next step will be sorting the negatives. Organized Photos has archival envelopes for them, too.


About Me

Forty Years of Scrapping

Long before it was popular, I was trying to decorate arrangements of photos and sentimental items. Here I want to share some of my personal history and more important, some ideas I have gleaned from more than 40 years of scrapping.


A granny with a camera and a computer