Set your photos and artwork FREE!

How do you store your photographs? How do you flip though them and share them with your friends and family? Aside from the obvious posting them on your blog or social website, I thought I would share some of my work flow with you in hopes that all of those pictures stuck forever on your memory card can see freedom this holiday season.

If you're like me, you are probably being bombarded with email after email solicitation from photo companies advertising printing discounts. Why not take advantage? I recently made a 2010 year in review booklet on the website, "Tinyprints" that was delivered quickly and aside from the logo printed in the back of the book, it is pretty impressive looking. I had a hardcover book printed and shipped for about $35.

So let's talk about this.. When I got the email for the book sale, I had to act fast, which leads to the organization part of the email.

Every day, I upload my photos into my computer and clean the memory cards. I flip through the images and immediately delete those that are blurred and just bad overall. Recognizing that all photos cannot be saved and that basically, garbage in will equal garbage out, saves me a ton of space on my computer. I then take the photos and file them into folders by month and year using Adobe Bridge. Why month instead of a more specific tag? Because if you think about it, summer vacation photos will always be in June or July...Christmas photos will always be in December, birthdays and other special occasions will always be in a specific month as well.'ll see why this comes in handy in making the annual book in a second.

I file my "art" a little differently. Since I also dabble in digital art, I keep files of things. I have a file of clouds, a file of statues, and a file of journal pages for example. I also have files for textures and a file marked "photography" in which I keep re-touched art prints. My client files are filed by client and then stored on a separate drive than my "regular", fun time photos.

So..back to the book. I get the email and need to act fast to take advantage of the sale price. Instead of scrap booking ( the way costs way more than $35) I can use the photo company's software to upload my edited shots into the book template in a little over an hour. I've been editing and cleaning and organizing those photos all year, so it's a breeze to get them into chronological order. Hit SEND and viola! The annual book is sent to me to enjoy. Can you imagine how much longer that would have taken to organize if I was looking at photos by tag? It's just not the way for me.

iPad aside, we lose a little bit of something when we can't flip through photos and enjoy them with family. Get your photos off of your camera. I command you! You'll be happy to see the smiles on your friends and family when they flip through them.

I almost forgot...your journal pages and artwork into an annual publication that you keep on the coffee table? A "best of". That's pretty cool too!