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How to Organize Your Professional Photos


Mother, father, and 3 kids pose for family photos in front of changing leaves in colorado springs

So you've been dedicated to scheduling your important photo sessions in order to document how your family is growing and changing, but now you have a whole heap of photos and you don't know how to organize them. Does that sound all-too familiar?


You're not alone. A common concern with photography clients is that they don't want to invest in photos if those photos will simply gather dust or go un-enjoyed for years. A valid concern! I also want you to enjoy your photos and cherish them for years and years. That is, after all, why I got into photography in the first place!


So, in this blog post, I'd love to share a few tips for how to organize your photos so that you can maximize your enjoyment of them and pass down some beautiful, meaningful photo album keepsakes to your children later in life.




newborn baby wrapped in brown blanket sleeping in basket

Consider Purchasing Professional Albums to Organize Your Photos

The simplest way to organize your professional photos is to order an album from your photographer after your session. Most photographers offer this option as part of your print purchase package, and it should require very little (if any) effort from you in order to make it happen!


Printed photo albums are of professional quality. The photos are typically printed on a very thick, firm cardstock with a fabric or leather cover and are perfect for displaying throughout your home–whether on a coffee table, bookshelf, or somewhere else.


The pros:

  • These albums often require basically no effort from you! You simply tell your photographer that you'd like to order one, and they will walk you through the process. They may even design it for you if you tell them what you are looking for.

  • Additionally, they're beautiful, professional quality albums that will work wonderfully with your home decor and will stay lovely for years to come.

  • Finally, you can typically match exactly or closely coordinate the size, color, and fabric of your albums to create a cohesive collection if that's something that's important to you. This is harder if you're making the album yourself with prints as album styles often get discontinued, so your album collection might not match as well over time.


The cons:

  • Professional albums can be an investment, so that's something to ask your photographer about when making plans for how you envision organizing and displaying your photos. The investment varies depending on your photographer and their printer.




Couple kisses near Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

Going the DIY Route? Print Your Photos On a Set Schedule

If you'd prefer to go a more DIY album route, it can be helpful to print your photos on a set schedule. For example, you can organize your digital professional images into files (I'd recommend using a service that offers cloud storage so you don't lose them – like Google Drive) and have them all printed either quarterly, every 6 months, or once a year.


If you schedule this task into your calendar on a set schedule, it'll become part of your routine and you won't miss out on printing any important photos.




Pregnant mother holds her daughters hand against tan background

Create Photo Albums by Year

The most common way to organize your photos is to create photo albums by year (or spanning several years) in order to preserve the chronological order of your family's history. This can be made easier by using the tip above and printing your photos on a set schedule. Once you receive your prints, you can then label/organize your photos into an album based on when the photos were taken, creating a clean timeline of when each photo session happened.


The Pros:

  • This a more economical way to create your photo albums.

  • It can make for a fun project if you have the time and dedication to do it.


The Cons:

  • This is arguably much more time consuming than having an album printed, and often becomes a forgotten project, so in order for it to work long-term, it takes commitment.

  • If it matters to you that your albums match aesthetically, this will be harder to accomplish than if you were to purchase an album from your photographer. Many photo album styles get discontinued over time.




Little blond brother sits on older brother's lap on bridge

Create Photo Albums by Type of Session or by Child

Another way to organize your albums is by the type of session. For example, you could have an album for family sessions, newborn sessions, maternity sessions, or an album for each child's milestones, etc. This allows you to still keep the photos in chronological order, however you can see all of your maternity sessions in one place, all of your newborn photos in one place, and so on. This is a less common way of organizing photos, but if it makes sense for your family, that's all that matters!


The Pros:

  • This a more economical way to create your photo albums.

  • It can make for a fun project if you have the time and dedication to do it.

  • It could be fun to have a photo album for each of your children that you can pass down when the time comes. If you choose to organize your albums by session type, it can also be fun to see your pregnancies side-by-side, watch your family grow over the years, and more.


The Cons:

  • This is arguably much more time consuming than having an album printed, and often becomes a forgotten project, so in order for it to work long-term, it takes commitment.

  • If it matters to you that your albums match aesthetically, this will be harder to accomplish than if you were to purchase an album from your photographer. Many photo album styles get discontinued over time.




newborn baby wearing green knit hat sleeps resting chin on hands

Consider a Monthly Photo Book App

Another option for organizing your photos is to sign up for a monthly photo book app like Chatbooks (not sponsored.) Chatbooks, and apps similar to it, will allow you to print a monthly photo book straight from the photos on your phone for a small fee. You can even set up the service to automatically print a book straight from your photo app on your phone.


The pros:

  • These albums can require minimal effort, but usually require at least some effort as far as organizing the photos in the book and staying on top of organizing photos in your phone's photo app.

  • There's a possibility that if you're on top of keeping your photos organized you can have a new album show up at your house every month automatically.

  • The books will likely match aesthetically, provided that these services stay in business.


The cons:

  • A monthly photo book may end up being too many books for your needs.

  • You will need to stay on top of keeping your photos very well organized in your phone, or you'll need to spend time designing your photo book each month.




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