Welcome to Day 26 of the series, FIND your FIT! (To return to the beginning, click here.)
A ‘digital workflow’ is made up of the steps you take to handle your pictures—from the time you take the photo until you scrapbook or share it. Having a consistent process in place helps you to be more efficient with your time, which, ultimately, speeds up your scrapbooking. Your photos will be easy to locate, easy to edit, and easy to print.
If you can find the pictures, you can scrapbook the pictures!
Not everyone’s process will look the same. It may take some trial and error to find your ‘flow. Here’s an example of what it might look like:
- Take photos
- Upload/import them to your computer (either directly into a folder or through photo organizing/editing software)
- Delete poor-quality images
- Tag and add ratings
- Edit, if necessary (cropping, fix color issues, etc.)
- Upload to photo site to print (or print at home)
- Create a backup of your photos
*Note: Whether you are a traditional, digital, or pocket scrapbooker, the process will be similar. However, digital scrapbookers may not need to print their photos on a regular basis.
While there is free photo editing software out there, you may want to invest in a program like Photoshop Elements or iPhoto (or the more expensive Lightroom). These paid programs allow you to organize, rate, tag, and sort your photos, which makes them easier to find.
I highly recommend specifying the folder where the images will be imported. (Here is a quick video I created to show an example of how to set up your folders.) A file labeling system, whatever you decide will work for you, helps to keep track of the photos you have.
Photoshop Elements and iPhoto have tagging and rating features that allow you to search by a specific person, event, or rating. While this doesn’t have to be done each time you upload, I do recommend taking the time to do this for your photos. It may take some time, but it is so satisfying to be able to find a photo you are looking for within seconds.
I edit almost every image I print. I may brighten the image or crop it, depending on what I feel it needs. If you do not own Photoshop Elements or iPhoto, here are some free photo-editing resources.
How often you upload and print your photos is also a part of your workflow. Monthly, every other month, quarterly? Whatever length of time you decide is right for you and your photos, be sure to set up a reminder. If you’re anything like me, you will need to have the date scheduled ahead of time. When I see the date approaching on my calendar, I make sure to set aside the time I know I am going to need to work with my photos.
Create a backup
I cannot stress enough the importance of this step! Your photos are important and I do not want you to ever have to go through the grief of losing them.
There are so many ways to back up your photos. You can even automate the process to free up your time and to give you the peace of mind of knowing they are safe.
Online photo processor
Uploading your photos to Shutterfly or Snapfish for printing automatically creates an archive copy of your photo. If you were to lose a photo, you can go to your account and download it to your computer.
External hard drive
An external hard drive is great to have, but, like your computer’s hard drive, they can die. Having an offsite backup is a great option to consider.
Bonus automation tip:
An EyeFi card is an SD card that automatically uploads your photos as you take them. It stores them on a cloud drive, so you can see them from any device. I have one of these, and they are a huge timesaver!
Do you have a digital workflow in place? If not, do you feel it would help you to be more efficient or productive? Tell us in the comments!