What I love about following other bloggers is that sometimes the most innocent of statements can strike such a profound chord in me.  And I had that happen today.  Our good friend Jennifer Wilson at Simple Scrapper was doing a post on spring cleaning your photo library and she said:

“Delete liberally – …, but its sometimes easier to part with photos after time has passed.”


Is that ever true!

kittens 207 I know when I look through old pictures getting ready to scrap, whether digital or traditional, I look at a lot of them and think “Now why did I save that one – it’s not that good…”

summer211 But at the time I felt they were important enough to keep… there had to be some reason…

But now all they are doing is cluttering up our hard drives and wasting space!  Now Jenn and I are big advocates of “tagging” your pictures to find them latter.  Tagging is assigning a few keywords to each pictures using software that will allow you to search for that keyword as some latter date.  The tags travel with the digital picture – they are actually written into the file itself.  We like using Windows LIVE Photo Gallery.  Now Notice I capitalized LIVE – most Window machines come with Windows Photo Gallery – you don’t want that.  You want to go to Windows Live and download it.  (It’s free.)  Now I am going to cover how to use it in a blog post next week but the reasons we like it are:

  • It’s fast at creating the thumbnails to view your pictures and fast at retrieving the pictures once you search for something.
  • You can drag-and-drop the pictures directly to other folders or directly into Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to open them.
  • It’s really good at what it does and it’s Free.  Free’s good.  Very Good.

Now why did I save that one….

What do you use to keep track of your photos? And do you delete those ones you don’t need? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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About the author

Stan brings to the site a long career in the photo industry from working as a professional photographer to 13 years with Kodak to his present position asDirector or Marketing with Advanced Photographic Solutions color lab.Having spent all his adult life in the photo industry, Stan discovered the wild world of digiscrap through wife Jenn (better known as ScrapKitty Design). Even 12 years of teaching Photoshop and digital imaging to photographers didn't prepare him for the wild and wooly world of digi-crops, so he sticks to teaching classes and writing about photography and PS/PSE on their blog www.scrappersworkshop.com/blog. Stan and Jenn are transplanted Yankees in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, and would not live in lake effect snow again if you paid them.


  1. Jennifer says:

    Ummmm urgh, wellll I try to delete. Lets just say this is one of those cases where my ocd doesnt work so well, lol.

  2. tzigane says:

    i typically upload my photos. go through them and edit (if they are raw files or need it) and then at that time i delete any that are not good (too blurry, half faces or bodies, etc). and i am pretty good about going back through my pictures and my hard drive and deleting any of the older ones that i saved for whatever reason.

    where it becomes sticky for me is with the pictures that my daughter takes. she is 10 and has her own digital camera. sometimes i find multiple pictures of the same thing with very slight differences. and if it were up to me I would delete ALL of them except one. but i have had to realize that these things she photographed are important to her for some reason. so i leave most of them. at least for a while! lol!
    .-= tzigane´s last blog ..April Showers =-.

  3. just sarah says:

    i have a million photos like yours… bad shots, blurry, hazy, of the floor? But I know why I have them… I just dont clean up the files after I import. Which I need to do! I am gonna download Windows Live and can’t wait for next week. Show me the money, Stan!!
    .-= just sarah´s last blog ..straight to jail, do not collect $200 =-.

  4. Zanne says:

    I’ll fess up & say I’m 1 of those people who takes a million shots of everything… sometimes with little difference. I do that merely ‘cos I want to make sure I end with at least a 1/2 way decent shot of whatever I’m taking. So if I take 20 to get 1 decent & or fantastic shot… so be it. Better safe than sorry.

    Now I back my photos up on CD or DVD, but I do admit to having a bunch on my HD thinking I’m gonna scrap them any day. Um… yeah buddy!

    Also, I don’t tend to delete the bad shots ‘cos I think perhaps they’ll make a good background or neat title, etc. So I’m bad about keeping all shots when I probably shouldn’t. Oh well… that’s part of who I am I s’pose.

    I used Windows Photo Gallery for a quick reference, but for better detail & all I use the software that came with my camera. It is much better.

    Any old hoot… thanks for the post & may the Kitty White’s have a fantastic weekend.
    .-= Zanne´s last blog ..It’s Been a While =-.

  5. NancyP says:

    Going to definitle check out that Windows Live!! Right now my thousands of photos are on CDs and EHD (which could crash and that scares me!) I make up files for each family and each person within that family. Also for each event or trip etc. I know there must be a better way!!!

  6. Robin Rakes says:

    I have PSE 8, which has the organizer. Do you think that Windows LIVE is easier to use than organizer? Not that I think that is to easy, but I havent played with it much. Thank You Robin

    • Stan says:

      @Robin- Jenn and I are both very dissatisfied with Organizer. Generally because it seems to be slow to open and really slow to index pictures/ generate thumbnails, do what ever it needs to do. Now this was based on earlier versions (Elements 5&6) Might be improved in V8. Also, some Adobe products don’t share tags (I know Lightroom doesn’t) so I wonder if Organizer does – kind of worthless for me to tag a photo and not have it seen by Jenn. I’ll try and play around with it!

      • Jenn says:

        I agree with Stan, up until now I’ve not liked Bridge or the Organizer. They bog down the program and make things slow. I like WLPG because I can drag from it into PS or PSE (and I often have them both open at the same time) and my tags stay with the files. I used to use Picasa, but when I went to look at pics on a different computer, I couldn’t see the tags. This way, I can email a pic and the person getting it can see my tags!

  7. OMG, just the thought of tagging all my photos makes me want to run screaming off the face of the planet. I probably have 10,000+ photos on my hard drive! How in the world would I tag all of them?
    .-= Creative Junkie´s last blog ..43 years old? Is that, like, 130 in Mom years? =-.

    • Stan says:

      Yeah but do you need those 10,000+ pictures? That’s the rub of the post – deleting those not so good ones so you only got 9, 993 to tag… (cause all of yours are good, right!) We face similar thing – but I’m doing it a little at a time – 15 minute ssessions where it’s kind of fun looking at all the old pictures.

  8. just sarah says:

    Ok, so I started putting photos on WL..but seriously? Only 5 at a time? That is gonna take me years!!!
    .-= just sarah´s last blog ..straight to jail, do not collect $200 =-.

  9. One additional thing I thought of… is that this exercise can make that huge pile of photos you’ve been meaning to scan so much more manageable. A super quick run through can eliminate many missed shots that were printed because — well because back in the day we didn’t have a choice but to print the entire roll!
    .-= Jennifer @ Simple Scrapper´s last blog ..Digital tips for a Week in the Life =-.

  10. maggie says:

    I use ACDSee and have just got myself sorted out.
    I didnt put a lot into tagging my pics , i was so busy tagging kits 50,000
    items! Not getting on the forums much but i love your Tues tips.

    Any tips on where to get free stock photos?


  11. Robin Rakes says:

    One more thought- is it possible to load the WLPG on a separate hard drive where I keep my scrapping supplies, & tag those???
    Honestly, I need those tagged a LOT more than my photos… most of them are of the light of my life, my 7mo granddaughter. LOL
    Thanks for the info, I haven’t been impressed with Organizer either, but I am still learning so what do I know!!! LOL
    I am still waiting for part two on using WLPG.
    Thank You
    Robin in Bama

    • Stan says:

      Not even needed – in the copy of WLPG on your computer you just load up the entire EHD of your scrapping supplies and start deleting and tagging. WLPG works over a network very well. I’ll working on the tutorials so look for it!

  12. […] my previous post about deleting old, unneeded photos, I had mentioned that I like to use Window Live Photo Gallery to edit and tag our photos. One of […]

  13. DrGranma says:

    The time has come!! I look at the baby collections and realize the kids are much older… grandchildren pics that is…. and the time has come to narrow them down, down, down. Will tag.. good idea.

    Thanks for the push….
    .-= DrGranma´s last blog ..DIYDaysNYC Get Storied – The Real You: Personal Branding, Social Media, Storytelling =-.

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