How to Inspire Thanks Through Your Photos

April  4553

Family Time: 2010 Photo Review

Last night I gathered my kids around me to look through our 2010 photos. We laughed. We remembered things we’d forgotten. We had a good relationship-building time. You can remind yourself and your family of all that you’ve had to be grateful for this past year by reviewing 2010 through your photos.


  • You’ll find out what your family’s favorite memories are, along with your own. You can prioritize the favorite memories as your upcoming scrapbooking projects.
  • It’s a great way to collect information and details that you yourself forgot or didn’t know. Your family members will naturally offer many of the details without you even having to ask!
  • You, yourself, will remember details that you can add into the metadata of the photos.
  • You might realize a different perspective on events by listening to their observations, reactions, and stories.
  • It’s fun! And it’s a great reminder of all the good in your life.

Set Yourself Up for a Great Viewing Experience

We do this activity right from my laptop. I LOVE viewing photos from my computer, and so do my kids. I usually hear people talk about viewing photos on computers as a negative experience — quite the opposite of my own. Maybe it has to do with the way you manage your photos?

To make your computer-viewing experience pleasurable, make your favorite photos viewable in a spot that is separate from your less-than-favorite photos. Here’s how . . .

Create Quarterly Digital Files or Albums for Fave’d Photos

Every photo manager is different. I’ll explain how mine works and you can look at your photo manager to see how to do the same thing. I’ll share two other options, as well. Hopefully your computer or your manager will have at least one of the three options.

Option 1: Photo Manager with Sub-folders
Here’s how I do it . . .

  1. Yearly Projects or Folders – Within my library of photos, I create Projects for each year of family photos. I keep all of my family photos for the year — the great as well as the not-so-great — within that one project.
  2. Albums or Sub-folders –I then create albums within my yearly projects. I make four quarterly albums, plus an additional December album, since there are so many photos from December. I want to be able to easily see December photos on their own.

    My photo manager allows me to place pictures from my yearly projects (or folders) into my albums (or sub-folders) without actually moving them. This means I can see my favorite photos in both places, whether I’m looking in the first quarter album for 2010 or the Project for all of 2010.

    This way, you can enjoy all of the best photos without having to weed through the clutter of all the bad ones. It’s an entirely different experience to view photos on your computer when you only see your favorite photos. These are also the photos I choose from when I am scrapbooking.

Option 2: Smart Albums or Smart Folders
Another option for placing favorite photos in their own sub-folders while still keeping them in their main fodlers: Smart Albums. If your computer has the ability to create smart albums, you can give your favorite photos a specific rating of your choice. Then you create a smart album with the following criteria:

  • the date (ie. 2010; or January February March 2010)
  • the ratings you assign your favorite photos.

Option 3: Completely Separate Favorite Photos from the Rest
I don’t like this option as well. I only recommend doing this if there is no way to view a photo file in two different place like I explained in the two options above. But if your computer or software does not offer those functions, it’s still worth it to do option 3 and be able to view your favorite photos on their own.

Just make a folder for the year (or the quarter/year) with your favorite photos, plus a separate folder for the year and call it, “Non-Favorite Photos 2010.”

Hyman Family Favorite Memories from 2010

I was surprised to find out what my kids’ favorite memories were so far. Most were not the ones I would have expected. Now that I know what made them most happy, I want to make sure I scrapbook them over the coming year . . .

Gatsby’s Crazy Tongue
April  4555

2010-03-12 at 22-02-59

4th of July
July 705
July 725

A Newly Painted + Decluttered Bedroom
2010-03-13 at 10-42-17
I’ll admit it. This last one may have been one of my own favorite memories.

Weekly Roundup

  • Tambur

    Thanks for sharing your system.
    Once my computer arrives my goal is to get all of our pics organized from the beginning of our digital age. Before we made the move I copied all pics from various computers onto one external drive. I look forward to having all our pics organized in one place.

  • Francine

    While I don’t have lots of photos each year (empty nester, still working, DH retired), I do have a LOT (and I mean LOTS) of digital scrapping supplies. I bought ACDSee a couple of months ago and, although I was warned about not having too many folders within folders, I’m now having to start all over with my organizing. So, I’m going only 1 deep – the kit name. Then I will stick all the categories (Shop, Designer, Type (embellishment, paper), Theme etc. It will be time consuming, but I’m going to be backing up every time I sort something. It sounded like that’s the software you use as well – that’s why my comment.

  • I use Aperture, made by Apple. But I’ve heard good things about ACDSee,
    too! Thank you for sharing your process. I agree about not going deep! :)

  • Alice

    I use the same system to keep my greeting cards organized by year. That way I make sure that everyone receives a different card for each of the special dates. I save first by year, then person’s name and type of card, bd, ty, etc. I don’t take many pictures, but I sure receive a load from family. This method works for those too. Thanks for sharing your absolutely great personal photos.

  • Carmenchernandez

    What would you recommend for those of us who only have Photoshop Elements?

  • Carmen, I know the more recent versions come with Adobe Bridge. I don’t know
    whether they always did or not. Do you not have Adobe Bridge with Elements?
    I would think Bridge would have a similar way of doing it.

    Otherwise, if you have no photo manager, you can use the Pictures folder
    system that is built into your computer. If you organize them the same way
    (by date) then you can do searches for your folders if you organize them
    with the criteria I mentioned above (years and quarters or seasons). Then
    you can do option 2 if your computer system has the ability to create smart
    albums/folders. Or option 3 if it does not.

    If you’re still confused about how that works, please let me know! :)

  • MichelleC

    Photoshop Elements has Organizer. You can set up a system very similar to what Noell has in Aperture using albums, photo ratings, and keywording. If it is version 8 or later it has the smart albums option. Similar to Aperture you do not physically move your photos.

    Organizer catalogs you pictures and if you write the metadata to the files you will be able to take your pictures to other programs that support reading the metadata. I just did this when I upgraded to Adobe Lightroom.

    I haven’t tried Bridge, but I would assume it is very similar.

  • Michelle, thank you for your help with this! The metadata capabilities are
    so vital and valuable. I’m glad you emphasized it. It sounds technical to
    some people and they tune it out, but it’s a very simple concept that I
    think all scrapbookers/memory keepers should be maximizing. I plan to do
    more training on it.

  • Deirdre

    Just curious to know if you backup your photo files to an external hard-drive, will all the star ratings/folders, etc., be saved with it?
    I’m planning to use an external hard-drive to work on both my desk top and laptop when editing photos. I’ve heard from some iphoto users that when you back up, you lose all your organization-folders. Just want to be sure that wouldn’t be the case with Adobe. Thanks!

  • If you do it the right way and back up your whole drive then yes — it’s all saved there.

    I wonder if those iPhoto users are only backing up certain folders or something?

    You said something about Adobe — not sure if you thought Aperture is made by Adobe — it’s actually made by Apple. :)