What to do with your old photographs

April 29, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

 

 

 

 

What should you do with all those photographs? The easiest thing to do is keep only the very best ones. Any photos that are out of focus, too dark, too light, or are not making you happy should go. (This applies to printed photos as well as your digital images.) 

 

If you're wondering what are the best images, keep in mind that they may not be the posed portrait images. You may have favorites that show people living their lives. For us, it often involves dogs, horses, funny faces, sticking our head through themed cut outs. You'll know the ones that make you feel good. 

 

Share your images with people! Family and friends appreciate getting images, and I've been known to send old photos off with notes that instruct people to keep them. 

 

Make you life, and those of people you love, easier. Label all your images on the back with names, dates, locations and other important information if you know it. There are specially made pencils for writing on the back of photographs, or use a soft lead (#2) pencil. Family Tree Magazine has some additional tips at their site too. 

 

When you are writing people's names on the back of images, be sure to use their actual names. Grandpa may make sense to you, but down the road that won't be helpful to other people. List them by first and last name and if you want to make genealogy folks happy, list women by First Name (Maiden Last Name) Married Last Name. 

 

Boxes of Photos - I love this for family members, and children in particular. Toss your best labeled images into an archival box and mark the outside with the person's name and the date range of the images. Simpler than keeping up on photo albums and easily transported when your child moves to their own place. 

 

Movies - okay, not really a photo, but you will want to take your old film and get it updated to a more modern alternative. Right now that is DVDs, and it will provably change, but having backups is a good plan. 

 

What are your favorite tips for preserving your photos? 


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