trying to stay sane

Being someone who loves to takes photos and document everything, I have to stay organized or I will go insane. After various attempts with numerous programs, I think I am finally at the right place – Adobe Lightroom. It does everything I need it do (and a little more).

Now everyone has a different system to organize their photos and I have certainly spent hours upon hours researching the best solution. Wedding photographers organize by weddings, baby and family photographers tend to organize by client, but how do ordinary people organize? After many attempts at consolidation by event, date, people, place I finally resolved that organzing by date is the only way to go for me.

First I organize by year. I have scans back from my birth and beyond.Lightroom Years

Within each year I organize by month.Lightroom Months Shot

And within each month is the date followed by a title (or brief description) of the day.Lightroom Month Details

I “keyword” everything so I can search my photos by specific people, events, places and/or details and then create a “collection” of these photos for photo books, projects, etc.

Lightroom Collections

Now I have been documenting our lives every day for the past 5 years and that is A LOT of photos. I am currently at around 200,000. There is no way I could keep all those on my computer or even half without my computer crashing, so I use external hard drives. And not only are they all stored on the external hard drives, I am also currently using CrashPlan for my external back up of my hardrives. You can never have enough back up!!

Whatever you do, stay sane and find a path towards the zen of photograph organization.


i will remember you

Syberia-1Losing a pet can be overwhelming. After our cat died recently, I felt so lost and alone yet the memories were so vibrant in my mind. I knew I had to find a way to channel the energy into something that would help me overcome the sadness. A photo book allowed me to tell her story in photos and words and start my healing.

I searched my photos on Lightroom using keywords pertaining to my cat and put them all in a “Collection”. I used the Lightroom “Book” mode and created a quick and easy book linked directly to Blurb. The simplicity was just right for this project where I wanted to quickly get my words down. I made a 7″x 7″ soft cover book.

The following are some excerpts of the book:

How she came to be with us.Syberia-2

What she was like as a kitten.Syberia-3

Her relationship with the other animals.Syberia-4

Her relationship with people.Syberia-6 Syberia-7

How she played and her favorite toys.Syberia-8

Fun photos and a story about a specific day.Syberia-10

Favorite details – her sounds.Syberia-9

Her personality.Syberia-12

Her physical characteristics.Syberia-14 Syberia-16

Her favorite treats.Syberia-15

Her favorite places.Syberia-11

Her impact and what she taught us.Syberia-13Syberia-17 Syberia-18

And a good-bye.Syberia-20

We all miss you soo much.  We now have this wonderful book to look through and remember all the things we love about you.

creative live

Creative Live-15

I have been a bit absentee this week but I have a good reason, I have been over at Creative Live for their Week of Photoshop classes. If you watch live, the classes are free but you can also buy anytime access to all the classes in a series. In the evening, they repeat the day’s classes. Even though I know quite a bit about Photoshop and Lightroom and use both daily, I feel there is so much more to learn. There are so many ways to do different things in these programs and it is fun to pickup tips and watch other’s workflow. If this is your thing, you must go check it out!!

(In this photo, I played with my better understanding of gradients in Lightroom).