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Mom and dad playing airplane during family photography session


7 Practical Tips on How to Organize Your Family Photos

April 22, 2024

The other week I sent an email confessing something: I’m really, really bad about printing my family photos. It took me almost a year to print and hang my newborn’s pictures on our walls….a year. No, I’m not proud of that. 

A little backstory that led to this confession…

I took my first solo trip with my two small children to visit my parents in St. Louis. It was the first time as a business owner that I didn’t bring my computer on a vacation. The first time I set an “out of office” message. The first time in a long time that I spent a few days not thinking about work. 

I did, however, bring my big girl camera, and I took pictures of my kids. This is rare because: a.) they never sit still, and b.) they run away anytime I whip my camera out (ironic, I know).

When I uploaded the photos later, I realized how many family photos are just sitting on my computer gathering the proverbial dust. And don’t even get me started on my iPhone camera roll, that thing is a hot mess. I immediately got stressed. I thought, “I need to get my butt in gear and print these before my kids are teenagers.” (My kids are 1 and 3, so I’ve got some time!) I promptly added “print family photos” and “make annual photo album” to my to-do list. 

This all got me thinking…maybe I should put together some tips on how to organize your family photos and create a schedule to print said photos regularly. As a photographer, I really should practice what I preach, which is this: printing photographs from your daily life and your annual photo sessions with me is the best way to create tangible mementos of your family over the years. 

So, here you go. Seven tips to help you organize your family photos so you can find and print the ones you love.

#1: Put all your digital photos in one place

First things first—to organize your family photos, you need to get them all in one place. I like to start with one big photo dump onto your laptop or desktop computer.

This might take some time, especially if you have thousands of photos on your phone like I do. But I promise it will be worth it in the long run. You can also just completely skip this part if it feels unachievable and put these tips into practice moving forward!

Family of four on front porch of their home in Cleveland, OH

#2: Find an organizational system that works best for you

Next, find an organization system that works for you. Create folders or tags based on dates or events to make it easy to find your photos when you need them.

The system that works for me is to set up a folder for each year, with subfolders for each month. Any major milestones like vacations, birthdays, and holidays get a folder within each month. 

This is also the perfect time to cull through your photos and get rid of ones you don’t want. Duplicates, accidental pics, blurry photos—all of the stuff you know you don’t want to keep and will never print.  

Once everything is cleaned up and organized into folders, I recommend backing everything up on “the cloud.” Sync your photos to iCloud, Google Photos or Dropbox so you have a backup if something happens to your computer.

Family of four in a field during Cleveland family photography session

#3: Create a schedule to organize, review, and print your photos 

This part is important. Arguably the most important step in the process. Because why go through all the hassle of organizing if you’re not going to keep up with it? The good news is that once you have a system down, it should only take a few minutes to sort your photos. 

Put a recurring reminder in your calendar to set aside time each month to go through and organize any photos you’ve taken on your phone or with a real camera. You can also use this time to choose a handful of your favorite photos to print! 

Family of four at Wade Lagoon in Cleveland, OH

#4: Choose quality prints

When it comes to printing your family photos, quality matters. I highly recommend finding a reputable printing service to ensure you get the best quality product that will last. I am proud to offer professional-grade prints and products from Miller’s Professional Imaging to all my clients through their online galleries and truly do believe that investing in high-quality prints ensures that your memories will stand the test of time.

If you’re looking to get photos printed on a more regular basis, there are now some pretty cool subscription-based services like Mootsh Photos and the print series option from Google Photos that make printing super easy and affordable.

#5: Create a gallery wall with your favorite prints

One of my favorite ways to display family photos is with a gallery wall! 

There are lots of custom framing companies—Framebridge and Artifact Uprising are my favorites—that make creating a beautiful gallery wall simple, or even serve as inspiration for you to create your own. The benefit to creating your own gallery wall is that you can choose frames that make it easy to swap out photographs on a regular basis versus custom-framed gallery walls that don’t allow as much flexibility. 

Experiment with different layouts, frame styles, and arrangements to find the perfect balance. From symmetrical grids to eclectic collages, the possibilities are endless; the hardest part is deciding!  

#6: Opt for an album or photo book

Albums and photo books are a fantastic way to print lots of images and keep them in one place! A nice lay flat album can be a great keepsake for milestone moments like newborn photography sessions, first-year celebrations, family vacations or yearly recaps. I try to print a photo album of my favorite photos each year (honestly, I’m a few years behind at this point, but it’s on my to-do list!). And photo books are a more casual and affordable option to print more often, like monthly or quarterly. 

#7: Preserve your memories for the future

The moral of this story? Your family photos should be a source of joy—not stress. 

These days, photos are so easy to take, but because digital photos take up no physical space, it’s also really easy to ignore them as they pile up, promising “I’ll get around to those later.” And then you’re just left with a big mess that feels so overwhelming you don’t even bother. 

Preserving precious family memories is a labor of love, but hopefully, these tips can help ensure your cherished moments will stand the test of time. So go ahead, organize those photos, print them, display them, and watch as your family’s story unfolds beautifully before your eyes.

Family pplaying during family photo session in meadow

And if all of this feels like way too much… 

Just know that you definitely don’t have to do it yourself. There are digital organizers you can hire, photo printing memberships you can subscribe to (like I mentioned above), and, of course regularly scheduled family photo sessions with me are a guaranteed way to have a beautiful set of photos that capture these fleeting ages and stages. 

When you work with me, your photos are delivered in a beautiful keepsake slideshow and gallery, and I take care of all of the organizing and printing. All you have to do is schedule and show up. Can’t get much easier than that, right?!

Mom, dad and sons in meadow during family photography session

Hey there and thank you for stopping by! I’m Mackenzie, owner of Mackenzie Romagni Photography, a birth, newborn, and family photographer serving growing families in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. I hope you found my “7 Practical Tips on How to Organize Your Family Photos” blog post helpful.

Interested in learning more about booking a birth, newborn, or family session with me? Contact me here to connect! Not quite ready yet? No problem! Follow me on Instagram or join my email list here to stay in the know.

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I'm Mackenzie. My Philosophy?

every moment counts.

As a parent, I know how quickly our babies grow up; all the time in the world still doesn't feel like enough, and every moment counts. While I haven't yet figured out how to keep those babies small, I do know that a photograph does a pretty good job in the meantime.


Hi, I'm Mackenzie, the vision and camera behind Mackenzie Romagni Photography. If you like what you see on this blog, chances are, we should work together. Click here to view my collections or simply contact me below.

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