Family photos are amazingly powerful tools for connecting generations. It’s a shame that they are often overlooked until a major life event sends us digging through the closet on a quest for specific shots. In our line of work we are frequently confronted with the decays of time and poor photo storage.
Aging can never be avoided when it comes to your physical photos, but you can take steps to slow down the process. With time and care, your treasured family photos can be passed down to tell your story for generations. Are you ready to get started?
Get all of your photos in one central location.
Find a comfortable area where you can sit down and spread everything out. This can be your home office, the dining room table, or even your coffee table. Just make sure you get ALL of them! It can seem daunting at first but once it’s done, it’s done. Right?
Decide how you want to organize your pictures.
This all comes down to your personality and organizing style. The most common ways to organize photos are according to person or subject, event, or chronologically. Sort your photos into stacks or boxes that make sense to you.
Edit your collection.
This part can be painful and confusing, but it is necessary. If you don’t do it now, you’ll just be back to random photos floating around the house.
You will want to go through your individual stacks or boxes and separate your photos into a few categories. These are:
Album-worthy photos: these are the really good photos that you would want to store in an album to view and share with others on a regular basis.
Not-quite-album-worthy photos: these are not as great photos that you would keep in an archival box instead of an album.
Trash: random photos of scenery, duplicates (and triplicates), photos that are noticeably blurry or out of focus, and photos that you just don’t like and wouldn’t care to share with anyone fall under this category.
Storytellers: these photos may not be “good” photos, but they are part of a bigger story. Photos of childhood awards or some seemingly mundane event that has a story behind it fall into this category. These may help tell the stories of some of the photos from the first two categories.
There is nothing more devastating than taking the time to go through all of the family photos only to have them fall prey to mold, decay or destruction.
Here are some tips to help you preserve those precious memories:
Digitize: it’s always a good idea to have a backup of your keepers, just in case! Once your photos have been digitized, you can make as many copies as you would like to store in multiple locations. We offer competitively priced scanning services if you don’t want to do this yourself.
Albums: make sure albums are acid and lignin free to keep your photos in tip top shape!
Storage Boxes: as with the albums, make sure these are archival quality.
As you can see, organizing your photos can be quite a task! With a little patience and perseverance, you can get through it. Once you are finished you will rest easy knowing that your treasured memories are safe for sharing with future generations.