A review of the Fresh Start service from Everpresent. They organized and cataloged all of my images and have changed my photo organization life for the better.
(Be prepared for a random sampling of old pictures that just found their way back to my life.)
I’m sure that I am not alone with my complete lack of photo organization. I have THOUSANDS of photos and there is no rhyme or reason to how they are stored or organized. Photos that I have taken over the years with my camera and the ridiculous amount (tens of thousands) of iPhone photos. Not to mention the boxes of prints that are hiding in my closets. There is little that I value more than the pictures of my family. And how I keep my photos does not reflect that in any way.
Organizing my pictures was something that had been on my to-do list forever. Everpresent reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying out their Fresh Start service. It was an answer to my prayers. It was the kick in the pants that I needed to finally get this job done, set up a system, and take photo storage seriously.
(William’s first picture. Ever.)
The process started with a call to my personal photo assistant. Maddie walked me through the process. We talked about what my needs were and we made a plan to get everything consolidated. We talked about how I like to sort things. (Chronological is my preference – YEAR > 12 MONTH FOLDERS > JANUARY 2016 > FEBRUARY 2016 > etc..) I had some homework to do. I needed to get everything in one place. Maddie sent me a hard drive and I got to work.
(We don’t look old enough to have any children, let alone 3 of them.)
I had stacks and stacks of photos on CDs, and I had to move them all onto a hard drive. I also had multiple hard drives that needed to be moved. This part took a little while. I even enlisted my kids to help. They would watch a movie and move files over for me. While this part was unsexy, I knew that in the long run, it was going to make me so happy to have my pictures organized and in one place. It was well worth the effort.
I sent my consolidated drive to Maddie and she took on the task of getting rid of the duplicates and organizing it all. I really should have sent her some cookies or something. It was a big job.
(The picture that got me into child photography. I knew I could do better, and this was the catalyst for buying my first DSLR.)
Let me stop here and say that I had multiple copies of multiple copies of everything. Maddie did some magic and got rid of all of the duplicates. Not by file name, but by PIXEL. They have software that finds all of the duplicates and chooses the largest file size available. This saves so much space. And makes things so much easier to find.
When Maddie sent me my drive back, it had everything organized and I was beyond happy. I tested it to see how easy it was for me to find things. I thought of a random occasion, and guess what, I had no problem finding what I was looking for. Magic. Pure organized magic.
So now what?
One of my goals is to hand each one of my children a hard drive with their childhood memories on it. Maybe when they get married, or turn 18? I haven’t worked out the details, but I want to be able for them to have all of the pictures that I have taken of them over the years. And it will be as simple as making another copy of my super clean and organized hard drive.
Even though I was gifted the Fresh Start service, I am going to continue to be an Everpresent customer. I think that it is worth every penny. I want to keep up the momentum of keeping everything organized, streamlined, and in order. Since my original service, I have found more disks that need to be added and I’ve taken a lot more photos.
Everpresent will also scan and digitize VHS tapes, film, photos, albums, pretty much all media. (You know, the kind that are sitting in your attic right now.) They also will create albums and slideshows for you. It makes such a thoughtful gift. You can drop your media off locally at one of their New England locations or send it all to them.
It is an amazing service and I really can’t think of anything that I didn’t like about the process.
(I even found some pictures with ME in them!)
Things I love:
Having a photo assistant cater to my needs. I worked one-on-one with a real person. Maddie created a catalog based on how I sort, not a standard way that they do it. The service was catered to my needs.
Moving as much as we do, it is amazing to put my completed drive in my go bag and not worry about all of my photos getting lost or damaged.
I no longer have drives all over the place or have no idea what is on them. I am confident about where things are and can easily find what it is that I am looking for.
Getting my pictures off of CDs. The jury is still out about how long they will last. And now I have them all on drives. (I also have a mirrored backup of the Everpresent catalog for safety.)
I have found lost treasures that I have not seen in ages. Baby pictures, kids with Santa, holidays, events, people that have gone before us. It has been like taking a walk back in time.
Interested in giving Everpresent a try? (If you know me in real life, there is a better than good chance that I have already talked your ear off about this service already. That’s how much I love it.) Awesome. Give them a call (617-505-1132) and get the ball rolling. I promise that you will be so happy that you did. I can’t even tell you how much joy looking through my old pictures has brought me. And the feeling of being organized and having all of my photos in one place.
Here are a few tips to get started:
I felt really guilty about letting my photos get out of hand. I love them and wasn’t taking very good care of them. It’s a big project to do on your own. Don’t feel bad about hiring out this job. It can be time-consuming and tedious. Let the professionals handle that part. When you get them back, you can focus on the fun part. For me, that was making albums for my kids. And laughing at how young we were.
Start putting everything in one place. I had boxes of photos all over the house. I had drives in desk drawers and in camera bags. Start collecting everything, consolidating, and keeping it all together.
Get your family involved. I also grabbed all of the images off of my family’s phones. My husband and kids also had some great pictures to add to our collection. They also can help you organize and move things onto your Everpresent drive. You don’t have to do it alone. Make it a family job.
I couldn’t be happier with the outcome and have been working on sending off new work and photos. I am no longer overwhelmed or anxious about losing images or being able to find things. I have peace of mind when it comes to my photo storage. It’s a great way to start a new year.