What I do with all my personal photos

In a previous post, I talked about the three reasons I believe everyone should do a 365 photo project (one photo every day for an entire year) and I also pointed out 8 excuses that should not stop you from getting started. Once I finished my first 365 photo project, I was addicted. I can't imagine NOT having my days documented now!

I recently started my second 365 photo project. Because I'm adding new photos nearly every day, organizing all of these is important. It would be a pity for all of these images to remain hidden in the digital bowels of my computer forever... I wanted to share a little about my workflow and a few things I do with these images as inspiration for anyone reading.

1. CAPTURE: My camera is ALWAYS handy. If it's not at arm's length, fully charged with a fresh memory card, I won't be able to capture images to begin with. Some days I capture one or two frames throughout the day, other days I go a little overboard capturing one or two hundred frames throughout the day.

2. IMPORT: I import all of the day's images into my "2017 Personal Photos" Adobe Lightroom catalog in dated folders with "365" and any other relevant keywords. I quickly skim the images, flagging the best ones of the day. By filtering my view to only the flagged images, I then narrow down to 3 or 4 favorites that I star. By filtering my view to only those flagged and starred images, I can more easily narrow to my one "photo of the day" by comparing quick edits, crops, color variation for black & white, etc. 

3. EXPORT: This is usually the point I holler to my husband in the other room, "I need your opinion! I'm down to two—which one should I post??" Haha! I export just the one photo into a folder on my Dropbox that I can get to on my phone. On occasion, I'm not able to narrow it down to just one. Sometimes I'll post two images on one day, but more often, I export the others anyway to create a small stockpile for coming days when I may not get a shot otherwise.

4. POST: I post the image with a little story/caption on Instagram (@amberlanghoff) with a specific hashtag (#everydaylanghofflife) so that I can easily find them later. I also share that photo to my Facebook page so that my non-Instagraming-family can follow along. My personal goal is to do this before midnight every day, but it usually happens between 8-10pm. Some people choose to post all 7 from the week altogether, at the end of the week. Others choose not to post them publicly at all—I respect that.

5. PRINT: Ideally, I'd be printing all of my favorite images often and hanging them on my walls and sending them to family members all the time. BUT, the reality of that happening in the midst of crazy, everyday life is challenging. My FAVORITE, no-stress, no-brainer solution to this is Chatbooks. I can connect my Instagram account to an ongoing book series (and even specify a hashtag) and it will automatically make a cute, six-inch square book with my images. As soon as I have posted enough to fill 60 pages, I get a notification through my Chatbooks app letting me know my book is ready and will print in a couple days. I can go in and modify any captions, dates, locations, or images that I'd like to edit first, choose a cover photo, and wa-laa! A few days later, a beautiful little book of photos arrives in my mailbox that I can add to my collection—and I didn't even have to think about it! (The quality and content control of these books is perfect for everyday memories, in my opinion. They're definitely not professional / high-end, but at only $8 each, I love them to flip through and reminisce.) Give this video a quick watch to learn more—Moms, I think you'll find it extra entertaining ;) Chatbooks can be created from Instagram, Facebook, or even the photos on your phone. They also have hardcover options, thicker book options and flat square prints, too. If you'd like to give them a try, get your first book FREE through my referral link here.

6. ARCHIVE: At the end of each month, I make every effort to go back into my Lightroom catalog and do quick edits on all of my flagged images from each day and export all of them to an online gallery. (This gets harder & more daunting the longer I wait and put it off...) I like the idea of having a digital "here was my year in more than just one photo at a time" gallery. It's great for recording more of our family history, sharing with faraway family, and staying organized in general. And from that gallery, I can print larger, professional versions of my most favorite images to hang in our home.

There you have it! That's the method behind my madness, regarding personal photos. If you've got a method that works for you, I'd love to hear about it. Fill me in!