Clemson SC Portrait Photographer | Organizing Your Family Photos, Step Two Progress

Thanks for checking in! I’m now well into the process of organizing my family photos, and I just thought I’d share a little update about where I am in the process and how it’s progressing so far!

Remember, in STEP ONE I talked about the necessary groundwork: commitment to the project, creating a goal or vision for what you want your end product to be (in my case, printed albums), and coming up with a plan to proceed. In STEP TWO, we talked about digitizing the photos and the mechanism I chose to use to do that – and that’s where I am now.

I had already gathered together my boxes and albums of prints. This week I spent a few hours here and there removing the images from their old, yellowing cellophane albums and scanning them with my iphone using an app called PhotoScan and then uploading them to Google Photos. This turned out to be everything I’d hoped for! The Photoscan app works great and it syncs seamlessly with Google Photos…more on this in a minute.

I worked in batches, doing one photo album at one sitting and later doing a box of photos. I was torn between entering info about each photo at the time I scanned it, or waiting until later. I actually ended up doing it both ways. Some of my photographs had names/dates written on the back (thank goodness!) and so for those I added that info in Google Photos as I scanned and uploaded each one. Some did not have anything written on them, which was a bummer. I honestly thought I had been diligent about that when my kids were little, but apparently not as much as I thought. The reason that it’s important is that all of the uploaded images in Google Photos get automatically sorted by date. No problem if the images were captured with a digital camera, because that info is automatically included with the file – but scanning a print puts the date of the scan in the file, so you need to manually edit it. So for THOSE undated images, I just scanned and uploaded them in a bunch and then later I was able to add dates to them in the Google Photos app from my phone while I was watching TV 🙂

I also created “albums” on Google Photos to further sort the photos while I was at it. I made an album for each of my daughters labeled with their name.  If the scanned photo was of one of them, I dropped it in her album. I also created albums labeled “family portraits” and “family snapshots”. I put all formal, professional and school photos in the family portraits album, and all candid snapshots in the other. You can do as much of this as you wish – separate albums for vacations, weddings, or events would work well and I will probably do that later on. To further help find specific photos later on in Google Photos, you may want to add “keywords” to them in the description field as well. I’ll show you how all of this looks now.

This is a screenshot of what it looked like when I used PhotoScan on one of my photos (Jessica as a baby with her Cabbage Patch doll, 1984):

photoscan app 1

You simply center the camera over the picture and press the red button. Immediately after that 4 more buttons will appear at the rough edges of the photo as you can see. All you do is move the center circle over top of each button, one by one in no particular order, and the camera will automatically click each time. After the last one, the app stitches together all of the shots into one final photo. This process helps keep glare and distortion at bay. At this point you can scan another picture if you want, or you can just proceed with this one. Here is what it looks like after:

Photoscan app progress

If it looks okay (95% of the time it does), then just select the arrow at the top left that I circled, and it takes you to this:

photoscan app example


If you’ve done several photos one after another, they will all show here. Now click SAVE ALL, and they will all be uploaded to your Google Photos Account!

After they are safely in your Google Photos account, you can add the info you need easily. Click to continue on OPEN GOOGLE PHOTOS:

google photos link

That takes you to your photo collection, and you can select/click on the photo that you just scanned and uploaded:

organizing photos with google photos


You can add your info by clicking on the info icon at the bottom:

editing photo info in google photos


Then fill in the fields – I put her name, and also “cabbage patch doll” to help me find this particular photo in case I ever want to search for it and forget what year it was, or which album it’s in. Note that SO FAR I have been unable to find a way to change that filenumber once the image is uploaded from the scanner. I’m not worried about this, because I will put the info I need about it in the description. If you are uploading a digital file, you can name it whatever you want BEFORE you upload it and it will stick (ie, jessicafirstbirthday.jpg).

You can add the picture to a specific album if you want, to help with the organization, by selecting the row of dots in the upper right corner like so:

adding images to albums in google photos

And there you go! You will get faster and faster at this, I promise. Once you do it a few times it is very intuitive.

Here is a video I found that shows the PhotoScan app perfectly:

I am making steady progress, and I’m not trying to kill myself by working at it nonstop. It’s a great rainy day activity, or one that you can do while binging on Netflix!  If you are the type of person who makes lists or sets goals, you could do something like 25 images a day. If you are working on YOUR family photo organization, I would love for you to share where you are in the process in the comments here or on my Facebook page !


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Hello Friends

I have the coolest job in the world. I get to create gorgeous images of beautiful kids and families, so they can remember these precious days forever!
I live on Lake Keowee in SC, but I travel frequently back to the Pittsburgh/Washington PA area and do sessions in BOTH places!


Pam Nafziger, photographer

I live on Lake Keowee in SC but travel frequently back to my hometown area of Pittsburgh/Washington PA - and I do sessions in BOTH places!

306 Longwood Drive, Seneca, SC 29672

a peek at my instagram