To Save or Not to Save? | Photography Tips from Elizabeth Langford Photography

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      Manic:  Back from our family road trip through sunny California and I took a ton of pictures that I want to organize and scrapbook.  But now as  I look through my mountain of shots, I feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to cut and what to keep.  I bet this has happened to you!

Managed:  Asked team member and professional photographer Elizabeth Langford for tips on how to streamline my images, so that I end up with a less cluttered hard drive and a beautiful scrapbook that will preserve my family’s 2011 summer road trip memories forever!  I love what Liz came up with.  Read on and be inspired to make the most out of your family pics by doing more with less.  Plus she shares some good information how to back up your images.  Good advice!

Elizabeth says:

Is your hard drive jam packed with digital images you never use?  If you have a large drive it might not matter… but if you’re storing all of your images on your computer’s hard drive, you may be using up valuable space with images you could erase.

As a professional photographer I spend a lot of time “culling” my images.  Going through the hundreds of photos I take at a wedding and deleting images that don’t meet the level of quality I want to present to my brides.  An image might be culled (deleted) because Uncle Joe has his eyes closed or the focus was not tack sharp.  The process of culling is also important for the hobbyist or mom-photographer.  Taking a little bit of time to go through your images and delete the out-of-focus and un-flattering images will save you space on your computer and will also make it easier to sort through your images when you’re ready to share, burn, print or use them in some way.

Sometimes it’s hard to decide which photos to throw out.  Here’s an example of a photo that I might initially choose to cull.  At this point in our shoot the kiddos were both cold and tired.  This led to their less than stellar facial expressions.  So at first, I was tempted to delete this image.  After a second look however, I loved the expressions of joy on their parent’s faces.  That joy over-shines the worn-out look at the children’s faces. In fact, most parents can relate to these types of moments… because they’re real!

Elizabeth Langford Photography - Gilbert Wedding Photographer

Taking the time to do this with your own photos will leave you with your “valued” images and save space on your computer/hard drives by not filling them with images that you won’t ever use.

I should also mention that backing up your images to an external hard-drive or online back-up service such as Carbonite or the much anticipated Apple iCloud is important for everyone.  It’s not just an urban myth that computers crash.  Both my professional and personal images are backed up at any given time in no-less than three places… usually five!  Knowing that my images are safe on multiple hard drives, that are stored in multiple places gives me a sense of security that puts my mind at ease.

Have a photography tip or question?  Email me at [email protected] and visit my website at


  1. Hi Elizabeth! Is there a software program that you would recommend for organizing your photos as well? Thanks! ~Julie

  2. That’s a great question Julie! I exclusively work on Apple computers and use Lightroom to catalog/organize my photos. For hobbyists I recommend using a program like iPhoto. Regardless of the program you use, the most important thing you can do (besides backing-up your images) is to organize them into useful folders/catalogs. Well organized photos make it much easier to find what you’re looking for and create cool pieces like albums, notecards, etc.. For PC users, here’s a link to a site that has reviewed ten different photo programs: Thanks again for your question Julie! – Elizabeth Langford Photography

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