I wish there was an easier way of sorting photos. But I realize some of us are organizationally-challenged and that’s half the fun. In a $5-per-truckload-second-hand-store kind of way. Sure, bring it all home if you don’t mind spending a week at the laundromat.
I’ve spent about 100 hours so far sorting through 3.5GB of photos sent by a cousin. It almost makes me want to give up genealogy.
I have two monitors but it makes me wish for four. These photos came in about 150 assorted folders containing as many as 7 duplicates. That’s not counting the ones that are almost duplicates of ones I already have that she emailed me sometime in the past.
Reading my process could make you dizzy so just skip to the moral of the story at the bottom.
First step – open all folders with one click in Photo Mechanic and, using the IPTC Stationery Pad, insert her name as the Source. Just so I don’t forget.
Go through all the folders deleting the ones I don’t want, i.e. her cats and people I’m not related to and might like if I met but don’t want in my genealogy collection. If I don’t know, toss those in the Unknown folder to ask her about later in a marathon telephone session or 600 emails. There’s someone posing with Mick Jagger. Ok, got it, cousin from her mother’s side. Not related. Well, someone had to win the Meet the Rolling Stones Contest.
Start with the cemetery photos because I’m already familiar with those. Use Duplicate Cleaner to find the duplicates and delete all but one. Sort them by MRIN into my MRIN folders. Then go through all my MRIN folders searching for duplicates because she sent some of these before.
Duplicate Cleaner doesn’t work as well as I’d like on photos so I download a trial of Duplicate Photo Finder. This would be quick except for a couple of details. The trial version doesn’t allow me to delete photos directly. AND the photos my cousin emailed in the past, and are already annotated, are smaller than the ones she sent by Dropbox due to Windows’ genius default option of compressing the hell out of anything it touches for email. Even JPGs that are already compressed.
(Pretty much everything is scanned as JPGs because it was back in the day before I beat her over the head about scanning and saving as TIFF.)
Sidetrack over to Photo Mechanic. Copy and paste the annotations on the smaller pictures over to the un-annotated larger versions with Duplicate Photo Finder on the other monitor showing me where the duplicates are. Delete the smaller ones.
Using Bulk Rename Utility, go through each of the MRIN folders (about 300) preceding all unmarked photos by their appropriate MRIN. Why? Because this is The Church of MRIN. It’s how we do things here.
Go back and look at the other photos. Start renumbering MRINs in Legacy for people I haven’t seen before. Like her siblings and their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, her parents, her grandparents, her great-grandparents and her mother’s mother and related others, our common 3rd great-grand aunts and uncles, you get the picture. At least the ones I can distinguish from the file-names. File-names range anywhere from “Daughters of George.jpg” to Dsc_0119.JPG.
Use UNUSED numbers in the Source Library (created by deleting 1,377 Quakers). Make new MRIN folders, drag and drop the pictures into them. Generally. Very generally because I’m a bit lost with multiple spouses and people posing with other people’s children. DO NOT use Bulk Rename Utility to add MRINs yet.
Write email to cousin asking her for a descendants chart with women’s maiden names, everyone’s nicknames (maybe I could find some of them by searching AKAs in Legacy) and marriage dates so I can sort the married-more-than-once people. Seems to be a lot of them. And figure out who the kids belong to.
When everyone’s where they should be, go back through the MRIN folders using Bulk Rename Utility.
Open each MRIN folder with Photo Mechanic and annotate each of the photos with caption, keywords and address where possible. I guess GPS would be too much to ask for.
I figure another two hundred hours and I’ll be finished sorting photos.
Be nice to your cousins. Annotate your photos! It’s easier to Search & Replace when you have different annotation styles than it is to work from scratch.