Boring, boring, boring! Nobody is going to want to read this garbage, you might as well turn to the funny pages and forget about the rest of this article. OK you are still reading, but don't say I didn't warn you.
Organizing your pictures is about as fun as cleaning the toilet. And it's like cleaning the toilet - if you wait too long to do it, you are going to have a real mess on your hands. Why am I mentioning this now? Because that's what I've been doing lately. Organizing my pictures that is, not cleaning the toilet. It is a tedious job, but one that has to be done.
When I speak of organizing pictures I'm talking about moving them around on your computer's hard drive so they make some kind of sense and you can find them later when you need them.
Most people that have had a digital camera for a while are finding that they have huge amounts of images and they are scattered all over the place on the computer. When it comes time to find a picture of little Johnny's third birthday with Mickey Mouse, it's anybody's guess where it might be.
I'm going to make a few assumptions at this point: You know what a hard drive is and how to get to it and that you are not one of those people who keeps every picture they have ever taken on the camera's memory card. If you are one of those people, we need to have a talk.
The first step is to think of the hard drive on your computer as an empty filing cabinet. You could throw all your pictures into the filing cabinet and be done or you can make folders with appropriate names on them and put the pictures in folders that make sense.
Each person's organization system is a personal thing and since it's a free country you can organize them any way that works for you.
A good idea is to make a folder for 2010. Inside that folder make 12 more folders for each month, and put all the pictures taken for each month in the corresponding folder. If you take lots of pictures, you could even break it down by date.
You can go into greater detail and organize all cat pictures into one folder and all dog images into another, but sometimes less is more. If you keep it simple, you won't drive yourself crazy.
There are several software packages that can help with this job if you feel the need to spend even more money on your digital habit. For most people a simple folder setup will work just fine. Once you have a good system set up, it doesn't take that much effort to keep everything straight. Then you might have more time for fun jobs such as taxes and spring cleaning.
(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a master photographer as well as a certified professional photographer.)