Making Sense of Holiday Photo Madness…

Merry Christmas Eve! 🙂  I was recently approached by Jennifer Hellickson about writing a blog post about organizing digital photos.  Jennifer read one of my guest posts over at The Charlotte Moms! 🙂   She works for a PR company and one of her accounts is Photobucket.  I must admit that I had not heard of Photobucket until she mentioned the website.  I poked around and found it be very easy on the eyes. 🙂

Making Sense of Holiday Photo Madness

The holidays are upon us!  It is a time of celebration and get togethers.  A time to visit with friends and family that you see once a year.  Time to capture those moments to remember forever.  I’m sure the camera is charged and the memory cards are empty in full anticipation.

As the season comes and goes, take some time to organize your digital photos.  If you took the time to snap them, then take some time to organize and appreciate them.

Decide what you would like to do with the pictures.

Do you want to create a holiday scrapbook?  Perhaps print them and share in a family album.  Another idea is to pick the best shots and blow them up to display in wall frames.

Create an organized system for storing digital photos on your computer.

Step 1:  Delete pictures that are blurry, fuzzy, or unattractive.  Pick the best nature shots and delete the rest.

We take pictures to create memories.  Memories of the people in our lives.  Nature shots can add a layer to the memories, but pictures are better served if of people.

Step 2:  Create folders to help organize all those images.

Start with a folder for each year.  Then create a folder for each month.  For example, you will have a folder for 2012 of which contains 12 folders for each month.  Rename the months: 1 January 2012, 2 February 2012.  This will help when searching and arranging.

Step 3:  Within each month’s folder, add folders for different events.  For example, Timmy’s Birthday, Sarah’s Dance Recital.  Place all pictures into their respective folders.

Step 4:  Backup your photos onto an external hard drive.  Photos take up a lot of memory on your computer.  Be sure to back them up in a safe place either online or with an external hard drive.

Photobucket is an option for backing up photos online:

  • Backing up online via a dedicated photo site allows you to add an extra level of security when safekeeping your digital photos
  • You can organize as you upload, and also have the ability to share albums links with others via email, social media sites and embed in blogs for convenience
  • Go with a place that’s trusted & reliable: Photobucket host more than 10 billion images from 100 million registered members, who upload more than 4 million images and videos per day from the Web and connected digital devices.

Step 5:  Print your favorite ones (see above)!

Be sure to enjoy your pictures after you have taken them.  Make sure you can easily find them when you want to retrieve later.  Make sure they are safely stored.  And lastly, reminisce about Christmas’ past.  Laugh over the hair styles and fashion choices.

Photobucket Stories is a method for doing something with your pictures:

Happy Holidays!

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

The Peninsula Club Women’s Lunch Brunch…

A few weeks ago I had the great honor and pleasure of speaking to a wonderful group of ladies about how to organize their pictures.  I love to organize … almost as much as I love talking about organizing.  I always get a little nervous before speaking engagements, and this day was no exception.

I was running a little late, had an interesting phone call with my friend slash attorney, had the bank call me about something unexpected, and to top it off I forgot my note cards at home!  Crap!  Winging it is not my fortay!  Thank goodness the topic was organizing.

Within the first 5 minutes, I was no longer nervous.  These women had me laughing and smiling … we all became instant friends!

After some talking and showcasing (The Container Store sent me some products to use), it was time for lunch.  They ordered me a plate of risotto topped with shrimp and a side of asparagus!  Well slap me silly and call me hungry … or how ever that saying goes.  It was delicious!

Showcasing products from The Container Store.

They learned about ways to organize pictures, and I made some new friends.  All in a days work. 🙂

Thanks ladies — I had so much fun! 🙂 Cannot wait until the next talk in December! 🙂

Until next time…

Family Portraits Made Easy…

I am so thrilled to bring you a guest post today by a great photographer and friend, Matthew Martin of MRM Photography.  Read on for some great tips on how to take great family portaits!

Hey! I am Matthew Martin from MRM Photography and Jennifer asked me to guest blog for her today so that I could give you guys some awesome photography tips!  I wanted to make this a pretty quick and dirty article to help you all get better family portraits on those occasions when a professional photographer isn’t around.  Sometimes things just happen and you want a group photo to remember it, and honestly, nobody can afford to hire a professional for every single get together.  These tips will hopefully help you during those times you have to do it on your own!

The first thing you have to decide is if it will be outside or inside.  This is often determined by the weather, but should also be determined by the time!  Many people don’t think about this as thoroughly as they should.  Many people will just assume that if it is daytime, then that’s a good time to be outside and nighttime is a good time for indoor photographs.  That’s generally correct, but there is one caveat, you really don’t want to be shooting outside around lunch time.  This will give you the harshest light and will create shadows that you don’t want, cause people to be squinting, or create problems for your camera to focus or eliminate lens flares.  The ideal time for outdoor photographs is early morning or late afternoon.  You want the times just after sunrise, or just before sunset.  This sunlight is often referred to as the golden hours (because the light has a warm golden glow) and will produce the softest and warmest light.  Not only does this help out with shadows and squinting, but it makes your skin look softer!  This same principle can be applied during the middle of the day if it is an overcast day.  The clouds will act as a natural diffuser and give you a nice soft light to work with.  In addition to utilizing the correct time, you always want the sun to be behind your subject, and this is mainly to reduce any squinting.

If you decide to shoot indoors, one major thing to think about is opening up your windows to let in some natural light, if it’s during the day.  You want to be aware of any shadows going across people’s faces and you want to make sure there are no shadows being cast onto a wall behind them.  One trick to eliminating shadows on the wall behind your family is to move them in front of the wall by a few feet.  Many people will push their families up against the wall to create more space, but this will often lead to unpleasant shadows on the wall.

One final tip, be creative and have fun!  The last thing you want is an image where everyone is stiff as a board and looks uncomfortable.  Try taking a goofy picture first and then squeeze in a more classic portrait last.  This will have everyone relaxed and laughing / smiling.  These make for the best photographs. {Love this tip!}

If you enjoyed these tips and would like to hear more of what I ramble on about, head on over to my blog at, or check me out on facebook at

What To Do With All Those Photos?


A great friend and wonderful photographer, Matthew Martin of MRM Photography, asked me to guest blog for him today.  Thank you Matt for the invite and opportunity to share my organizing thoughts on what to do with all of those pictures! 🙂

Head on over to MRM’s website to read the tips and ideas!

Happy Monday! 🙂