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Make sure your kids have childhood pictures

We are in an age of digital.

There is no denying that.

We are also in the age of taking millions of pictures on our cell phones and doing nothing with them.

Be honest with yourself, we all fall in this category.  I don't develop pictures nearly as often as I used to.  I know about 2 people that do.  I will develop pictures I want to hang up at work or in our house, but that's it.  My mother in law prints pictures and mails them to us so that is really where most of my actual hard copy pictures come from.  One thing that I have been doing for the last 8 years, is printing family yearbooks.  I remember when I was growing up looking through all my parents photo albums of my sister and I when we were younger.  I don't want my kids to think that we didn't take pictures of them so every year I create a family yearbook on Shutterfly of all the events that happened.   I love creating the books and I love looking through them.   If there is a special event (like a vacation or a birth in the family) I will do a separate book on that topic.

Recently a friend asked me how I keep my pictures organized, how I am able to upload them in a timely manner, how I organize my books and any tips.  Here are some tips if you stuggle as well

1. Use one photo site for all your pictures.

I use Shutterfly and I would highly recommend it.  I can't say enough great things about the site and the features.  I have been using this site for years so ALL of my pictures are there. This makes it very easy to find pictures for projects such as my photo books.

Shutterfly also has an app.  This is a great feature and helps save time uploading.   Since most of the pictures I take are on my phone I can easily upload them directly to the folder I want so I am not missing any when it comes time to create my book.  I also have the app downloaded on my husbands phone.  This way he can upload pictures to my our Shutterfly account.

If you are in the beginning stages and shopping around for a photo site, check and see what sites your family uses.  My sister in law and I both use Shutterfly.  This makes sharing pictures and saving them to my account very easy.  Sometimes I will save entire albums that my sister in law will send me (into the appropriate folder over course).  This makes it easy to make calendars, books, mouse pads and more later on.

2.  Use a consistent way to organize your photos on your photo site.

I organize my photos by quarter.  Example 1Q17, 2Q17, 3Q17, etc.  I sent up all my folders for the year in January.  This makes uploading photos from your phone on the app very easy.  This also puts the albums in order so its less time searching for the photo  you want or remembering what creative  name you called that event.  This has proven to work very well for me.

3.  Be religious about uploading.

Like anything if you get behind the tasks becomes VERY daunting and you don't end up doing it.  I try and up load pictures from my phone every couple weeks.  One of the great thing about the ap is that it will have an "S" next to pictures you have already uploaded.  This allows you to know what you have done so far and you aren't duplicating pictures.  I love this feature.  I also save all my pictures from my camera on a jump drive.  The jump drive is also organized in the same folders as my Shutterfly account (by quarters). Consistency is the key!  I try and upload pictures to Shutterfly after a big event.  Even if I do nothing with the photos at that time I know there are on my site and I can delete them off my camera.  Another thing I do is delete pictures once they are uploaded.  I know some people might panic at that but it allows you to be more organized and you know whats completed already.

4.  Work on photo books in chunks

Shutterfly has coupon codes for free 8x8 photo books a couple times a year.  You can also find them in emails from JoAnn Fabrics and Kohl's once in a while too.  When the codes are released you usually have about 4 days to use them.  That isn't much time if you aren't proficient at creating the books.  Lets be honest, its not enough time even if you are!  You know the code will be released when the kids are sick,  you are out of town and just not in the mood to create a book.  My solution to this is that I work on the books throughout the year.  I work on them at lunch or a little bit at home if I have time.  My goal is always to have the book complete by the time a code comes through.  You can save the books or "work in progress books" under your account as projects.  When a code comes through all  you have to do is order.  Takes all the stress off creating the books quickly.  I do the same thing when I am creating calendars at Christmas time for the family, I make the ahead of time and wait for a code.

5.  Don't think too much

I know this sounds mean but don't think too much when creating the photo books.  I make sure my books focus on the pictures of the event, not words.   I pick pictures that tell the story of the event.  I also use the templates they give you for the different picture amounts per page.  I don't resize them, or typically add embellishments.  It takes a bit to figure the site out for creating books but once you do its a breeze.

The best advice I can give you is to start.

Start today with pictures going forward.  You can go back anytime and organize  / upload pictures in the past.  But if you start today with uploading the pictures on your phone from the last month and downloading the pictures from your camera you will be in a great place.   Get started because you want to make sure your kids see all the fun things you did when they were growing up!

Also, don't forget to go to Ebates before you cash out on Shutterfly to get cash back!  My best advice is to save the finished book in your shopping cart and then log out.  Log into Ebates, and search "Shutterfly".  Click on it and it will put you back on Shutterfly's site.  Then log into your account and BAM there is your book in your shopping cart.  You are welcome!

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