I have been asked a lot recently what I do with the thousands of images I take, and how I organize and back them up.  I have had no fewer than six friends recently lose all their images from the past few years. BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS!!!!

We all take tons of photos with our phone. I have an Instagram obsession, and am so glad I discovered ChatBooks. For every 60 photos I put on Instagram, I get softcover 6×6 books delivered to my door with my photos. Easy. My kids love these, and they are very reasonably priced. I ONLY use iphoto to store my  iphone images – I take a ton, and this makes it really easy to sort through. I also do a 8×8 hardcover book each year through BLURB  of all my favorite iphone/instagram images – those books cost about $100 depending on how many images I use, and I always upgrade the paper.

Everything else I import to my computer, and then back up to two separate hard drives. I keep one here, and I keep the other at my parent’s  house.  I also use Time Machine so if I have a crash, I have an immediate backup.  I love DROPBOX and usually keep the current month’s edits or favorites in there, and I can also access final edits from my Photo Proofing gallery that I send to clients.  For all of  you who aren’t photographers, you don’t need that many back ups, but you absolutely must have an external hard drive back up for your photos. I also highly recommend Time Machine for peace of mind. External hard drives are not infallible, so you could also use an online storage site such as Carbonite or Backblaze. For my personal photo albums, I have used Apple in the past – I do three volumes per each year. These books are a good price – they aren’t amazing quality, but they are perfect for the books your kids are going to look through on a regular basis.

Organization-wise – I keep files like this. This shows my personal photo organization, but work photos are set up the same. Year>Date-name or activity


Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 11.26.50 AMScreen Shot 2015-04-14 at 11.27.15 AM

It makes it really easy to find if I keep it chronological. Everyone has their personal preferences, but for me that works the best. Hope that helps!






Easily done with a direct flight on Turkish Air from Los Angeles to Istanbul! Well, 14 some hours later anyway. 😉  It was my sister’s 40th birthday, and we decided to go somewhere fantastic for a quick trip without the kids. Istanbul is an absolutely amazing city with much to see and eat! The Turkish flag is everywhere. I love how pretty it is, and how proud the Turks are of their flag and their county. Rooftop views are all over Istanbul – you can eat and drink from many a rooftop! We were delighted with the street vendors at every corner, and sampled all the food. You can buy simit (similar to a bagel), nuts, pomegranate juice, honey donuts, just to name a few. I am going to split my Istanbul posts into several parts, as there is much to show!

Our first day we toured around the Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Basilica Cistern. My personal favorite was the Hagia Sophia – the inside of this building is just spectacular.

This is the view of the Blue Mosque from the Seven Seas restaurant – best place to watch the sun go down, listen to the call to prayer and then have a drink. They even bring you blankets to wrap around your shoulders if you get cold. Loved the blankets – I bought four off a street vendor, and wish I had bought more. The photos of us below show us on the rootop – one side you see the Blue Mosque, and the other you see the Hagia Sophia.

The Hagia Sophia at night. *Little history for you – The first church of Hagia Sophia at Constantinople was built in 360 AD!!!! Two fires destroyed this church, and in 415 the church was rebuilt.

Outside the Blue Mosque – men washing their feet before going into prayer.

The Basilica Cistern –

I don’t think you can get out of Turkey without somebody trying to sell you a rug! I think jetlag kept us from actually buying one. 😉



  • rachel rioux - So fun to see the photos and read your notes!

  • Anna - Awesome photos! What camera do you recommend for traveling? Point & Shoot or dSLR? Any camera bag recommendations? Thanks!