Thanks to Ali for giving me the nudge to share my photo system. I've cobbled it together over the years and it really feels right. I can find any specific photo, no matter how long ago I took it, in a matter of minutes.
I use labeling tape to label the plastic sleeves with the date/event. The archival safe plastic sleeves are 5x7 and hold a fat set of 4x6 prints.
When I'm ready to scrap a particular event or time, I just pull that sleeve from the box. I'll sometimes put ticket stubs or other scraps into the sleeves to use with my layout.
I have six years of photos on this shelf. The photos that make it into these albums are the everyday shots, too numerous to scrap, but too valuable to leave hidden away on a hard drive or disk. The kids love to page through these albums. I use these wonderful but slightly fragile (the plastic covers crack if dropped) 3-up albums by Porta-view. Sadly they've been discontinued, so I'm converting to the Pioneer brand.
Before I went digital, I had negatives. Here is how I stored them. Unikeep View Case 3 ring binder, chronologically, with index prints or contact sheets.
Now that I'm digital I just group my photos by month (or event if it was over 100 photos), burn 2 disks, and print out index sheets. Below each image is the image name and date & time taken. Great memory jog for scrapbooking!
I keep extra disks in boxes at my mom's house. Just in case my house goes up in flames, or a tree crashes through our roof, or I somehow damage the master disk.
I keep photo disks in this disk binder. It holds about 200 disks and I have about 3 to 4 weeks of images on each disk.
Since my kids were born, I've kept monthly diaries on their development. I just write a few paragraphs about what their interests are, funny things they've done, how tall they're getting, new teeth that have popped up, etc. It ends up being about a page a month, and is great to look back on when I want to scrap photos from several years ago and want to be reminded about what the kids were like back then. I use these Unikeep View Case binders because they snap shut to seal out dust and they sit perfectly upright on the shelf.
Each child has one scrapbook per year, starting with their birthday, and ending with a summary page. I aim for 1 2-page layout per month, per child. More of course for holidays or events. These are 8.5 x 11, a concise and colorful little glimpse of their growing up month by month. Note, they are wrapped in plastic "just in case" a tree comes through our roof and the rain comes in...or to protect from smoke damage in case there is ever a fire.
I keep separate 12x12 albums of family vacations. Those they will have to fight over when I'm gone.
So there's my system. Now I just have to get caught up on some layouts!
If you enjoyed this post, check here for my more recent blog entries, and bookmark it and come back regularly for more. I post occasionally on scrapbooking, but mostly on capturing the details of everyday life through photography, which is the bones of my scrapbooking (as you can tell).
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