Here’s my first tip…Print your digital images! Don’t get nervous, we are going to spend most of our time here discussing the creation of your photographs, but if we don’t preserve what we create, we’ve sort of defeated the whole purpose of why we started.
In addition to being a photographer, I’m also a software programmer. One thing that I can tell you with absolute certainty, is that your computer will crash (die beyond the possibility of recovery). Before you start feeling too good about yourself, your cell phone and your digital camera are also computers. I can’t count the times I’ve read of someone that dropped their phone in the pool or on the ground, and they’re dying to find a way to try and recover that irreplaceable picture of… If your pictures are important (and why else would you have taken them), you’ve got to back them up. Don’t just copy them from your camera to your computer, every once in a while (maybe once a week), burn them all to a cd or dvd.
After you’ve got everything backed up, MAKE PRINTS! Take a few minutes to put your favorites from this past week on a little flash drive and run to the drug store (or upload them to one of the online printers like snapfish or shutterfly) and print some 4×6’s. It’s awesome to live in a world where we can carry around and scroll through thousands of photos on our phones any time we want, but nothing beats sitting on the couch with your spouse/kids/friends/grandparents and flipping through an actual photo album. You get to talk about all the things that happened on this day or that, how that cute little puppy knocked the Christmas tree down 10 seconds after you took the picture. You might even find that you actually laugh out loud along with everyone else. I am referring to actual laughter as opposed to typing LOL. It’s that thing where your stomach contracts while expelling air rapidly from your mouth. I’m sure some of you remember a point in history when we met with people face to face and interacted. You know, it was before we all started texting through dinner, though hiding your phone in your lap does help keep at least one elbow off the table. An added benefit of having prints, is that now you have something to worry about if your house burns down.