Sketchnote Getting All Your Photos in One Place

Sketchnotes are so fantastic that I decided to sketchnote my way to understand the pile of images I have accumulated over 20 years of photographing:

Sketchnote of 20 Years of Photo Storage (captured with an iPhone, edited in Perfectly Clear and Front View, by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013
Sketchnote of 20 Years of Photo Storage (captured with an iPhone, edited in Perfectly Clear and Front View, by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

My photos, and perhaps yours too, live in 3 distinct eras and frameworks:

1. Analog – This is the first column called Negative Binders. I have 10 years of storing negatives! From 16 x 20-inch lithography film all the way down to 35mm. There were and still are many film formats and each requires its own size of negative holder or binder. If you include medium formats 6 x 6, 6 x 7, 6 x 9, and 645, you could easily have 9 different film storage needs.  I have bookshelves of these! And with my return to film, I can expect more:)

2. Digital – This is the second column. There are really only 2 photo image formats in the digital era – jpg and raw. This encompasses point and shoots as well as professional cameras such as Canon and Nikon. Everything is stored on a hard disk drive.

3. Mobile – This is the third and largest column. Images are primarily on devices such as my iPhone or iPad and on cloud-based services such as Facebook, Twitpic, Instagram or Flickr and in .jpeg, sometimes .tiff and .png.  You may have a copy of the image on your iPhone, iPad, Google Drive, computer, and an external hard drive. Or you may only have copies on various social networking platforms.

I want to get all these images in one place!

Migrating images from film will be the hardest and take the longest and is the least likely to happen. With the new Lomography Smart Phone Film Scanner, I have a better chance of at least converting my favorite 35mm to digital. Follow the green hash lines from the negatives in the lower left to see this path.

Migrating photos from PC to MAC is complicated by the fact that PC and MAC formatted drives aren’t easily compatible.  However, with cloud-based services like Google Drive,, and Dropbox, it is possible to make this transfer through the cloud.  I have roughly 100GB of photos.  Google Drive is capacity constrained at 10GB so I’ll need to do 10 different transfers.  Ugh but I can see a path through. Follow the green hash lines from the hard disk drive in the second column to follow this path.

Migrating images to a central location is harder than I thought. See all the lines in the last column to follow (or not) this path. I was going to put them on my MacBook Air but it turns out that I only have 60GB of storage.  Oops! I do have an external 500GB G drive which should handle all ~160GB of images that are already in a digital format.  No tellin’ what I’ll need to do with the scans.  I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Wow! I think I’ll start with photos from 2013 today and then go to 2012, like that, year by year.  Or as Annie Lamott wrote, “Bird by bird, buddy.”

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