In the last few weeks I’ve deleted about 200GB of photos from my 1TB hard drive. Why? Well, a few reasons.

For one, though I pride myself in my photo organization and backups, I can do better. I ordered a new Macbook Pro and since it wasn’t arriving for a couple of weeks I’ve tasked myself with getting my files beautifully organized before I transfer them to my new computer. So this means deleting super large RAW image files from years ago because if I haven’t edited them by now I most likely won’t be. I’ve deleted the images I don’t LOVE (and 9/10 of the shots of my kids making the same face over and over) and converted the images I do to jpg.

I also want to perfect my system for photo backup and organization. I have a pretty good automated photo backup backup system in place (I need to update this post cause I’ve changed a few things). But some of my old photos weren’t as organized. Now they are organized in folders by year, month, and event.

mommy-and-me-motherhood

While going through these pictures I’ve taken a very long, tedious, slow walk back down memory lane. I started with images from back in 2008, about four years after we were married, but before I was really taking pictures. Those years were easy to organize. Even after I got my first DSLR I didn’t take many photos throughout my first pregnancy. It wasn’t until my daughter was born that my image folders got larger and larger.

While digging through these files and sorting the good, the bad and the ugly, I’ve stumbled upon many forgotten gems. Many images that could sum up that time in my life pretty perfectly. Some images I’ve never even shared here on my blog–Images I thought, maybe, finally deserve a blog post of their own.

newborn-family

The day I became a mother. The day I joined the club. The day I began to understand this new powerful form of love called motherhood. It was a great day.

mommy-and-me-newborn-baby

I had a daughter I’d always dreamed of and a son I couldn’t even dream up. I never knew I could love a baby boy this much, and this picture I took by myself, alone in my bedroom holding the freshly birthed baby is one of my favorites to this day.

mommy-and-me-laughing

Both of the children I brought into this world compete for my affection and lap space. I love it (most of the time) and sometimes I hate it. I wish there was more of me to go around.

daddy-and-kids

I love this picture because Snoop is in it. I found LOTS of Snoop pictures while digging through my archives but this is one of my favorite because it shows his personality well along with my kids. He’s always nearby when commotion is going on, and ready to break it up if he thinks someone may get hurt.

mommy-and-me-crying

My daughter is extremely emotional–As I was. My son is pretty sensitive too. Tears are common and encouraged to let the emotions out. They are also my weakness. I’m a sensitive mom.

mommy-me-mirror

I love to document. A lot. Like 365 days of each of my kids’ life and then some. I think my descendants will thank me someday.

There’s been a lot of good, bad, unpredictable and silly. Motherhood is tough work.

Motherhood hasn’t been perfect. Not even close. Actually I don’t even know what perfect motherhood is. I can picture what it looks like based on someone’s Instagram feed, but I know that’s only showing part of the story. Just like these pictures. The photos are one thing, but the story behind it says so much more.

There are many ways to capture your family’s history. I love to do that with photographs, but I love videos and even audio recordings too.

I have an audio interview with my great-grandpa that I’ll always cherish, and countless videos of my kids.

If you have photos and/or videos all over the place and you’re working on a backup plan, don’t get discouraged. Here are a few tips from yours truly to get you started:

1. Create a folder structure that works for you. A way to organize and tag your images so you can easily find them later.
2. Work from past to present. I find it’s easier for me to delete images that are older because I’m not as attached to them. I can quickly tell which pictures are keepers and which are duds, and you can easily tell how close you are to the finish line. Plus, it’s fun to travel back in time and reminisce, and you can easily see the finish line as you watch your family grow in the pictures during the process.
3. Diversify your backups. I like having a hard backup plus a couple of places online. Flickr is easy and has 1TB of free storage. I use that on my computers as well as my phone. I also have a couple of 5TB hard drives that I backup my computers too, including my images (and a few other backups but I’ll go into more detail in another post another day).
4. Don’t forget your hard copy of photos and other non-digital files. Scan older, precious images so that they too have a backup in case they get lost. Convert old movies on VHS and other formats to digital too.
5. Just do one event or month at a time. It can easily get overwhelming when you’re starting from scratch, but if you take it folder by folder, you’ll quickly catch up. Once you have a system down mark your calendar to backup and organize your pictures once a month.

Check out the Allstate blog for more tips on protecting your family’s memories.


This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.


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Dawn Nieves says:

Photos are so important. I’m super impressed of the photo of you and your son that you took it by yourself. It’s stunning! These are great tips. I have About 28,000 photos (seriosuly) I need to go through. I take all the shots then have trouble deleting.

Rosey says:

I like the one with the dog too. And the one with the kids laughing on your lap!! So so good!

Jasmine says:

Beautiful pictures of you and your family! Your kids are gorgeous, and lucky to have a mom thats documenting their lives in such a special way. Defintley inspired to try and be better at be prepared with my camera more often.

Love your pictures! I take a ton of pictures and stored them in a hard drive. I love keeping memories of my son’s life! After all, I only have one!

Ashley Mullins says:

Your photos are beautiful! You have such a beautiful family!
I need to start taking more pictures! And these are great tips organizing photos!

Star Traci says:

You have no idea how much I need this! I have over 12,000 photos on my phone plus a overfull Mac drive. I have not been good about clearing out along the way or organizing. You have inspired me to start this next year off better prepared to keep on top of the photos. So. Many. Photos. So. Many.
Happy Holidays!
🙂
Traci
Star Traci recently posted..Advent Calendar Day 1My Profile

Keikilani says:

I so need to do this!!! I have so many pictures and need to go through them. Your photos are just gorgeous!
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Sonia says:

Thanks for all of the tips! I seriously need to go through and just delete all of the multiples and keep the ones that count.
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THEODORA says:

how i miss stopping by your online home. I have to start getting myself organized again to enjoy following in your journey
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THEODORA says:

love love this post
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Nicole says:

I loved this post. I love the idea of trying to sum up motherhood in just a few photos. I love the diversity of what you chose, not just including you and kids, but including the dog 🙂

I also appreciate the idea to just take it a month at a time. Sounds simple and like something I probably already should have thought of, but that suggestion resonates with me. I also like the idea of going from past to present. I have a hard time deleting pics of my kids, and I find the distance of time helps.

Thank you for your suggestions!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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