Camera roll out of control?

I’m not one to exaggerate (actually I am), but this tip is one of my best ever!

I once spent about 5 hours at a friend’s house organising her pantry…for fun.  I’ve always been obsessed with systems and processes.  An old boss once said I was the most organised creative person she’s ever seen!

But there was one thing that always defeated me – the camera roll on my phone.  Years and years of photos on there make me cry every time I try and find something.  Until I stumbled across this amazing hack…

I feel compelled to warn you – the first time you do this you’ll want to settle in with a cup of tea, it’s going to take awhile.  But after that you just need to do it every now and then, and it’ll be nowhere near as daunting.

Firstly I want to say that when I shoot social media content for my own business I prefer to edit this on my computer not my phone.  So I’ll airdrop that to my computer and organise it on an external hard drive by years/months so I can easily go back and find old stuff.  But I do like to keep BTS and some work stuff on my phone too for quick and easy access.  So think about how you best like to work and what it is you actually need to keep on your phone.

Note this process is for an iPhone.  I’m sure there’s a similar method for Android so if this sounds helpful to you give it a google.

If this image gives you phone envy then read on to learn how to do it yourself


⚡Back everything up first.  Don’t skip this step.  I plugged my phone in and downloaded everything to my computer first.  Please don’t just think that backing up to the cloud is enough here.  If if your photos are syncing to the cloud, then when you delete off your phone it will be deleted from the cloud as well, so it pays to back up to your computer.

NOTE: I checked that my photos app on my Mac wasn’t syncing to the cloud.  If it was it would end up being a mirror image of my phone which is not what I want.  I want my photos app in my computer to be a full and complete backup and not update with my phone or the cloud.

⚡Create albums and folders.  I created albums like: Family 2024, Work, Pets.

⚡Now go through everything in Library/all photos and put everything you want to keep on your phone in those albums.  I know.  Crack open a packet of biscuits to go with your tea…or maybe switch to something harder. It’s going to be worth it though.   And remember you have these backed up, so you’re just saving your absolute highlights – the ones you want handy to show people or look back on.

⚡Go into your albums one by one, select all photos and hide them.  This will stop them getting deleted.

⚡Back in the Library tab and ‘All photos’ select everything that you see.  These are all the photos that aren’t hidden.  Triple check everything was backed up.  Delete.

Don’t panic here – everything lives in your recently deleted for 30 days if you really have messed up.

⚡Now go back into your albums tab and scroll right down to find the hidden folder.  Unhide everything in there.


That’s it!  Ongoing you can repeat the process every month or so, but it’ll be way less daunting. I hope that helps with the camera roll overwhelm – it’s genuinely changed my life!



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