When most people think of the pictures in their collection, they think about vacations, family gatherings, and holidays. There are many other kinds of pictures that need to be organized and sometimes retrieved, too. Photos are a great way to compare before and after or changes over time.
When I bought my condo, I walked around taking pictures of each room. This served as a reminder for the space I had to fill, the things I wanted to change, and even the types of outlets that were available for large appliances. Once I moved in and made the home my own, I took pictures because I was proud of the organized closet and the decorated kitchen. Placed alongside the first photos, I could see the difference in the before and after.
Many businesses use before and after photos as well. Dentists show how crooked teeth became straight. Remodeling construction companies show an outdated room becoming modern. Landscaping companies show an overgrown yard turning into a beautiful garden. What better way to show the quality of your work than with photo proof of your ability to transform?
Sometimes we use a common spot or pose in pictures to show the progress of growth over time in people or animals. If you eliminate the magic of Photoshop, you can trust a photograph to show you a true comparison from picture to picture. In the photos below, you can see how tall my niece gets each year by her height against the stone railing.
Taking the photos is only part of it. The critical piece is organizing them so you can get your hands on the pictures you’re looking for. To make the three-picture collage above, I simply searched my photos for Rackham (the name of the fountain) and Elizabeth (the name of my niece). It took seconds to see the photos I had available because I’ve taken the time to tag my pictures with words that will help me find them again. It’s much easier to look through a few dozen pictures that contain what you want than it is to search thousands (and thousands) to find them.
People and businesses with piles of photos need to use keywords that mean something to them. I don’t expect most people to have the keyword Rackham in their photo organization. This is a word that is important to me. I use the vague word “car” to identify pictures with cars in them, but if you are part of a Mustang club, I would expect Mustang to be one of your keywords. Construction companies should consider the room or type of material used as keywords so they can show customers a variety of kitchen remodels or specifically marble countertops if they need to pull up pictures in that way.
Think about the photos you take to show before-and-after situations or the growth over time of someone or something. How can you organize these photos so you can quickly grab both the old and the new to see the progress? Photos can be a great help in telling your story if you take the time to tag them properly.