Your family photos are more than just captured images, they are captured memories. The look on a child’s face, the mischief in their eyes and the grass stains on their clothes, captured in photographs, tell a story. So, how do you preserve precious memories that live in family photos? The following are a few ideas:
If you want to preserve your family photos digitally to avoid wasting the space you would need to store boxes of prints, you have a lot of options. When your goal is preserving your family photos, it is a good idea to use at least two of the following options, as you may need a back up method in case something happens to the first, such as a fire or flood.
Hard drive storage: Many people download their pictures onto their computer and store them on their hard drive. This is a great option as it offers the convenience of having the photos on hand at the click of a button for easy sharing or use in other projects. However, it’s important to consider another option for backing up your photos as hard drives do crash irretrievably, virus can eat or destroy files and spills and accidents that could harm your computer do happen.
CD or DVD: You can always burn your individual albums onto CDs and DVDs as an alternative storage option. A CD will hold a few hundred photos, and does not require more storage space. In addition, it is easy to burn multiple events onto different discs for easy use and organization.
Online storage: There are a number of websites and companies that will store your digital copies of family photos for you. Shutterfly, Kodak and Snapfish, among other photo websites, allow you to create albums, create gifts using your photos and share them, too. While some sites limit the number of pictures you can upload, many do not. You can also pay for some bandwidth on a storage site to keep your pictures safe and usable in case something happens to your computer. However, some sites require you to make a minimum purchase once per year in exchange for allowing you to keep your photos on their site.
Backup driver: You can use portable storage devices and backup drivers to store all of your precious family photos. They are fairly inexpensive and can hold thousands of images.
When you are preserving family photos, keeping actual photos is another great option. There are a few options for keeping and storing them.
Photo books: Shutterfly, Heritage Makers and MyPublisher.com will create a photo book from your photos. Wal-Mart does so as well. Apple offers this option with their installed photo software. You can preserve family photos in a book form, with professionally printed and bound pages. You can make it yourself and input stories, or you can have them input your photographs.
Albums: Traditional photo albums are binders with plastic pages that keep your pictures in place, and allow you to flip through events. These are great for preserving photos as well as fun to look at. However, they take up a lot of space, especially if you are an avid photographer.
Scrapbooks: While scrapbooks are a lot of work and take time to create, they are a great way to preserve family photos, as they often include other memorabilia, such as event tickets, to go along with the photos.