There are many different programs and ways to organize your pictures. One of the popular features of the Mac OSx are applications like iPhoto to help you organize your photos, but even Windows can help you organize your photos out of the box. Everybody and their brother have online photo albums, with ways to organize your photos and share them with your friends. Usually they give you an easy way to print your pictures; this is the real focus of these programs. You can purchase programs from companies like Adobe to touch up an organize you photos.
One of my favorites is Picasa from Google (they have just released picassa3 beta). Picasa like most Google programs is a free program. There are two separate Picasa applications, one that runs on your local machine and Picasa Web Albums, these programs seamlessly share your photos. You download Picasa from the Web, after it installs on your local machine it will search for pictures on your hard drive, and try to organize these photos in albums. You can re-arrange these albums, store them on the Internet, touch up your photos, and backup your pictures (copy them to a CD or DVD). I have not found a better program for the basics.
There is a return on the investment for Google. Google gives you 1gb of storage in your Picasa web albums if you are active with your photos, you can easily use up this space. Google makes these Picasa albums easy to share with friends and the public. If you use blogger you can attach a photo album to your blog. All of this will make it easy to need more space for your web albums, and Google has this for sale. Also Google makes it easy to order prints from the popular online printing services, Google probably gets a commission on each print purchase.
As I said before there is not a free lunch. If you know where Google is making money on their free product, and you get value in the free program, use what they are willing to give.
This is good time to talk about something I see with Internet users. We find some pearl of an easy way to do things on the Internet; we assume that everyone will find this invaluable. Well that is not so, I am aware that many will have what they consider a better way to do things that the ways I show you here. That is part of life, but when we do something we should anticipate others will do things differently. We may think it is wonderful that we can take some pictures and attach them to an e-mail to grandma and she will appreciate getting the e-mail and looking at the pictures. Maybe grandma finds it a challenge to get and read e-mail, may be snail mail will be better. Maybe grandma will want to print every picture so she can hang it on her refrigerator? A tool like Picasa can make this easier. It may be easier for grandma to get an e-mail with a link to a web album with the pictures. She can still see the pictures but they are not in the email, it would be easier to print individual pictures. You may want to consider using one of the online print services to print select pictures, and have them mailed to grandma. She now has pictures to hang on her refrigerator without dealing with a printer and ink cartridges.
Organizing your photos has always been a time consuming task. Very few ever get the job done; tools like Picasa can help, or at least make us feel more organized. Picasa just released a new feature that can help face recognition. This only works with the web albums, but Picasa will try to identify faces in your photos, you can then tag the pictures with the person’s name. You can also geo tag the photos, to help you identify where the picture was taken.