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photo archive software?   Off-Topic Chat

Started Jul-27 by Dee in TX (DBRADFOR3); 486 views.

I apologize I think I asked this question several years ago but now I am semi-retired I think I will tackle the photo problem while it's too hot to work outside.  Does anyone have experience with photo software where I can put notes such as year, location, people, etc?  I have all my father's photos that I  would like to identify for my family. 

Right now they are just scanned willy nilly by my then 13 year old daughter (who turns 30 in two days) so it's definitely high time.  The titles of the scans say things like "someone I don't know" and "another old person I don't know" or "mom and grandpa someplace I can't tell". Ha, my daughter the comedian!

Cathy (cacnurse1)

From: Cathy (cacnurse1)


Can't help you but I will also be interested in this info.  Mine aren't even scanned.  I've even considered looking into Legacy Box to get that done.

I am also considering Legacy Box, considering the number of old photos I need to scan!  

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


If you have a scanner, set yourself a schedule.  1/2 hour every day and do as many as you can in that 1/2 hour.  You'll be surprised how many you can get done *even* if you have hundreds of photos.

Before you start, however, think of / find an organization system for your photos that makes sense to you so you can easily find the photos.  Although I use one system, it occurred to me later that because these are digital photos, there is no reason why additional filing systems couldn't be used simultaneously.  You could file your photos chronologically and ALSO have folders for Christmas, vacation, birthdays, etc.  You can make as many additional "copies" of digital photos as you like.

For myself, I think chronologically.  My organizational structure is as follows (the numbers in front are strictly so you can see the sub-folders.  I don't actually use those numbers):
1. Decade

1.1 year-topic

1.1.1 other sub-topic, if necessary

Sample:    This is an actual screen shot of my file structure.  The Decade is 2000, which happened to be the year we got our first digital camera, so there aren't too many sub-directories.    I always have a "year Miscellaneous" directory, which contains singleton photos.  All the rest of the sub-directories are "year-month subject".   We didn't have too many events in the months of 2000 after we got our camera .... pictures of the chickens, Christmas, and New Years Eve.   If you have sharp eyes, you will note that if I had spelled out Christmas instead of Xmas, that even would have sorted before New Years Eve.  :-)

The other sub-directories (Baileys, Cook family, Schwabechers) are pictures of my cousins in those families.  I didn't actually take the photos in those directories; they were shared with me by my cousins BUT I have renamed the individual photos with "year-month title" information so I can identify them.

This system makes sense to *me*.  If you can devise a system that makes sense to you, it will make filing and retrieving pictures so much easier.   In my mind, if you use the computer-generated scanned name for the photo, you have no way of finding anything.


That is similar to the system I use for storing digital photos and documents - on external hard drives, of course.  Only mine is not *quite* as organized as yours - but like you said, it makes sense to me.  Also, if you have actual names in the file names instead of just numbers, you can easily find all the photos with a specific person in them.  But I'm sure you know that.  On most of the old photos, I don't have dates, BUT a lot of them do have the dates they were printed - back in the olden days when you had to take (or mail) the film somewhere to be developed and printed.  So at least there's that.  

I DO have a photo scanner, so I should scan the hard copies myself, and leave the various other media to the Legacy Box folks.

Here's a funny (to me) story.  My nephew (about 48) is now the de facto historian for our family.  My plan has always been to scan all the paper media, photos, etc., and then pass on the hard copies to him.  After all, the idea is to GET RID OF THE BOXES OF PAPERS, PHOTOS, AND OTHER STUFF.  Well, at our recent family reunion in June, my sister-in-law (his Mom) brought me a small bundle of old photographs SHE wanted to get rid of, and I think he probably already has copies of all of that stuff, or she wouldn't be giving them to me.  Hmmm.  But I think I will try to sneak all of them into some random box of photos and other items I plan to give him after I have them scanned.  Musical chairs, photo-wise.  Hah!  (BTW, I don't think my son really wants any of the stuff, but I will offer them to him first.)  

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


JulietDeltaOscar (fixin2quilt) said:

(BTW, I don't think my son really wants any of the stuff, but I will offer them to him first.)  

I hear ya.  Kinda like my physical, heritage scrapbook albums.  I'm not entirely convinced that my girls place any value on them.  *i'm* making them because *I* enjoy the process.

I do hope, however, that when I have passed on, they will find the photos and information that I have discovered to be of interest to them.  After all, this IS *their* genetic ancestry.   But, if none of them do, I still have a niece who might be interested.  I hope someone will!

I'm also going to leave a note for my girls, explaining that if they don't want the albums, here are the family members to contact to see if any of them would be interested.  Some of those family members are children of my cousins .... who my girls have never even met.    I sure hope SOMEONE will treasure them.  Then again, I'll be dead and will never know.  :-)

I decided to use Adobe's free Brick software.  It's basically the same thing as Windows explorer but it makes adding key words and adding descriptions to the "meta data" pretty easy.  I read some online articles that were more technical than I wanted but they explained about the metadata (where the info part of the picture is stored) and that you can add things there like descriptions, see original dates, etc that make organizing easier.  Brick does have some minimal photo editing included, but I haven't gotten to that part yet.  Eventually I may try "fixing" some photos but will probably use Adobe photos for that (I used to use it a lot so am familiar with it).

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


Dee in TX (DBRADFOR3) said:

Eventually I may try "fixing" some photos

ooohhhh... that is a skill in and of itself.  I can do basic, basic fixing but nothing exotic or advanced.

There is a FaceBook group that will do that sort of thing for you at no charge.  They are Photoshop wizards and like to help out.

thanks, I will.  Mostly I've just adjusted the yellow on old photos.

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


Dee in TX (DBRADFOR3) said:

Mostly I've just adjusted the yellow on old photos.

And don't you feel a MAJOR sense of accomplishment when you can do even that little thing?  Or remove red-eye?  woo hoo!