5 Tips on how to save your photos

We all love taking photos and looking back through old photo albums. But, we forget to do one really important thing. We forget to save them. We stuff them in drawers, maybe a photo album if we're lucky, our digitals are on our phone or on a drive and that is it. All of this may sound like enough. Sadly, it just isn't.

Photos deteriorate and fade (some more quickly than others) and digital files can corrupt or the storage device breaks. Trust me here, I have experienced this first hand. Many years ago I learned my lesson the hard way. I had a portable drive I was using that was knocked to the floor by my dogs tail. Once it hit the floor the drive and everything on it was history.

To help you prevent this from happening here are 5 things you can do to help save your photos and all of those precious memories you have captured through the years.

  1. Keep your original photos in a photo safe album (archival quality) or photo safe container. Keep these in an environment that isn't high in moisture and temperature. Also, keep them away from direct sunlight.
  2. Create copies. Scan your older printed photos and save them digitally. If you plan to display an older printed photo have a copy printed and frame the copy rather than the original. Older photos will fade faster when exposed to light on a regular bases. No matter the age of the photo never expose them to direct sunlight as this is extremely harmful to the print ink.
  3. Back up your digital photos. Some experts say that one should have at least 1 backup which would gives you 2 digital copies. Personally, I prefer 3 digital copies. Even though storage devices are reliable these days they are still fallible. Digital files can corrupt, devices fail, technology changes, and cloud storage may not allow for a full file to be uploaded and compress your photo file. (Compressing the photo file means you lose information and the copy is no longer an exact copy of the original.)
  4. Document your photos. Include names, dates, and places. This allows future generations to know who the photo is of. This is for current photos as well as older ones. The older photos are probably more important to document. There comes a point when those that are living don't know or may not remember who the photo is of. So, connect with family near and far to help identify the people in the photos and any stories about them they may remember.
  5. Consider becoming a member of an ancestry organization such as Ancestry.com. This allows you to connect with other family you may not be aware of.

I know this sounds like a major undertaking and in the beginning it will be. If you want to start simple, start with the digital photos first. These are the ones you are most familiar with. Purchase your chosen back up method and save away! My suggestion would be to organize your printed photos by age and scan the oldest photos first and move through the years until you have reached present time. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Enlist your family to help get the photos scanned. As you start this process make sure to back up any new digital files as you go.

If you have any questions about how to go about this contact me! I would love to answer any questions you may have. Now, get to work and save those memories.