How to Organize and Manage Pictures | Part 3

How has your culling been going? Getting rid of digital baggage? I hope. Some of you have told me how bogged down you are with no idea where to start. I’d suggest spending the time you’d use watching 2 Netflix shows and pick a time period to work within. For example, you may want to start with a selection already offered to you within the iPhone, as seen below. Start with that little section and work through that. Take a break and pick a new section tomorrow. Little by little, you’ll get through this!


Today, I want to talk about getting these pictures off of your devices and ready for printing. I am going to break this up into two sections: phone photographers and camera photographers. Phone cameras are getting so good that I believe most people are exclusively using them. Why pack a heavy camera on vacation if you have a great camera that goes everywhere with you anyway? Bonus- it fits in your pocket. (All the pro photographers just freaked out a little, but for the average Joe, you know it’s true!)

Exclusive Phone photographers, these tips are for you!

Tip #3 - Edit, lightly, if you wanna.

If you really want to edit your phone pictures, you don’t really need your computer. You can edit lightly in the photo app that comes with your phone. However, I caution you to not become bogged down with it. Let your pictures be your pictures! I am over the every-day snapshot edits. If you’re desperate to add yet another task to your life, you can use

  • VSCO

  • Instagram

  • Lightroom for Mobile

  • Photo Editor

  • any of the other gazillion photo editing apps.

Personally, I just use… nothing! For my phone snaps that make it to IG, they get that little “enhance” button on top and possibly a quick straightening adjustment. For the rare special phone pics that I want to edit, I use A6 on VSCO and tone it way down. I do that on about 10% of all phone pics - just a few!

Tip #4 - Don’t use a middle man

Once you’ve culled down and edited your pictures, there are many options for printing right from your phone. We all know the truth of the phase “there’s an app for that”. No need to upload somewhere else, organize by date, time, etc…. just print! (Note the disclaimer at the bottom of this post.)

FreePrints- I have been using this since right after my dad died. I’m not trying to be morbid here, but when trying to put together his slideshow for the funeral, I realized I had all these old photos I could hold in my hand and give to the funeral home for the video. I had old photos I could pin up to the boards. But all the new photos I had of him were… somewhere online? Cut to me barely functioning in grief, trying to find any of these pictures to print off for the funeral. I think I settled for 1, which was not great. Not great at all! It’s all my little heart could manage at the time. I decided then, that, by golly, my kids were going to have actual pictures they could hold. For the amount of pictures I take of them every year (spoiler alert: a crap-ton), I wanted something brainless and cheap, quality be darned. Be ye warned: FreePrints, in this professional photographer’s lowly opinion, has bad quality color, detail, sharpness, etc. Comparing one of these prints to almost another other printer shows just how poor the quality is. I would never recommend a special photograph to be printed here. However, for the hundreds of pictures that I want my kids to simply hold and enjoy in the future, it’s totally fine, and I have boxes to prove it.

This is an app that can access your camera roll directly, so if you don’t have Dropbox, Google Drive, Flickr, etc, you have a printing option that will work on the most minimal of demands. I use a Dropbox folder since I combine phone and camera pics, and select from there. It’s an extra step if you’re a combo shooter/printer, but if you’re just taking and printing phone pics, this is perfect for you. You get 80 prints free a month- just pay shipping. Receive pics in mail, delete them off your device when you receive them, done!

Artifact Uprising- For the more special prints in your Camera Roll, as they are more expensive than, well… free! Ha! I do love these. I usually print the very best of the best from the year in one pack of 10 or 25 and tuck them in a pretty glass box on my coffee table. This is another option that allows you to simply get an app and select directly from your camera roll. You wouldn’t need to upload, organize and manage your prints on a computer. When you receive your images, delete them from your device, and you are done!

Chatbooks- I’ll share in a later post how I use this app once a year. Since I take both camera and phone pictures, I usually combine all my pictures into one medium (again- more on that later!) but lately I’ve been toying with the idea of leaving my phone pictures to auto-pilot. I am not printing my phone pictures from the highest quality labs anyway, so why not make this an automated part of my life? I spent some time this morning excluding some pictures from my print series and I think it’s going to work nicely!

If you use the app from your phone, you can upload right from your camera roll. I think it could be an easy way to automate your photo printing and management. Once you receive your book, you can permanently delete the photos off your phone, FB or even Google Photo account. Easy!

Why make things harder than they need to be? These are all great solutions for getting the pictures off your phone in into your hands with very minimal (if any) organization and management!

Next time, we talk about getting camera pics off your SD cards and onto your computer.

**Note, every time I tell you to “just delete” them from your device when you receive your prints, I realize there is no digital back up to that picture. I will talk about backing up your photos next post. This is just advice for the people that honestly just want prints and don’t want to be bogged down in the digital world anymore. If there is a picture you need a back up to, one you couldn’t live without if your house caught on fire, you’ll want to read the next post!