#SaveYourPhotos2020 Month Week 2: Collect!

Did you know that September is Save Your Photos Month? Join us for a month-long quest to protect and preserve your family’s lifetime of photos, film, and memorabilia. #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 6Day 6: Collect Your Supplies

Gather supplies for organizing such as cotton or nitrile gloves for safely handling photos, empty boxes for sorting, sticky notes or index cards for categorizing, and an external hard drive for collecting digital photos. #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 7Day 7: Convert Home Movies

Time is wreaking havoc on the audio and video quality of your old home movies. Take them to a trusted professional for conversion to digital files. #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 8Day 8: Dealing with Videos

Videos, both converted home movies and clips from your phone, are an important part of your memory collection and should be organized and stored in your digital photo hub with the rest of your photos. #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 9Day 9: Play Detective

Need help dating photos? Family documents and letters contain dates and information that may unlock some mysteries. Use context clues in photos such as signs, wall calendars, or birthday candles. Even the size, markings, or type of photos can be informative. #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 10Day 10: Saving Kids’ Artwork

Use a flatbed scanner for 2-D artwork and snap photos of oversize, 3-D, or glitter-covered masterpieces. Even better, record your child talking about a project while holding the artwork. #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 11Day 11: Take an Inventory

Once you have finished gathering your items and placed like items together, take an inventory. For example: 6 photo albums, 4 shoeboxes of photos and letters, 10 photo CDs, 3 slide carousels, etc. This is the first step in managing your project. #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 12Day 12: Make a Plan

What needs to be tackled first? Do you have photos to share for a milestone birthday? Are some in poor condition and need to be scanned before they deteriorate further? Use this information and your inventory to create a plan for organizing and digitizing. #SaveYourPhotos2020

© The Photo Managers

#SaveYourPhotos2020 Month Week 1: Set a Goal

Did you know that September is Save Your Photos Month? Join us for a month-long quest to protect and preserve your family’s lifetime of photos, film, and memorabilia. #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 1Day 1: We Are Overwhelmed

In 2019, there were over 1.4 trillion digital photos taken. There are also an estimated 1.7 trillion printed photos in boxes, albums, and drawers. No wonder we are overwhelmed! The Photo Managers can help. Check each day throughout September for tips! #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 2Day 2: Set a Realistic Goal

The first step of photo organization is to picture the end result. As with any goal, you must have a specific vision and a timeline for completion. How do you want to share and celebrate your photos? #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 3Day 3: Set Up for Success

Designate a temporary workspace in your home that allows you to spread out and that will be undisturbed. When your project is visible, you are more likely to remain focused and achieve your goal. #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 4Day 4: Include Keepsakes

Kids’ artwork and family documents, as well as tangible keepsakes such as souvenirs and family heirlooms should be considered as part of your photo organizing goal. These can be scanned or photographed and added to your collection. #SaveYourPhotos2020

September 5Day 5: Prepare for Emotions

Photographs allow us to reflect back on our lives, both the good and the bad. Many emotions may arise when you open long-stored boxes of photos. Allow yourself time with these feelings. #SaveYourPhotos2020

© The Photo Managers

September is #SaveYourPhotos2020 Month!

Only two days until September and #SaveYourPhotos2020 month!

Save Your Photos Month is a public service outreach campaign developed by The Photo Managers to teach you how to preserve life’s irreplaceable photos, videos, and documents, in case of an unforeseen accident or disaster. 

Every year in September, photo organizers, companies, and photo retailers come together to raise awareness and educate the masses on the benefits of safeguarding their photos.

Join us this year on social media, through online courses, and educational events: https://thephotomanagers.pages.ontraport.net/save-your-photos-month

#SaveYourPhotos Month Week 5

29smDay 29: Create Video Slideshows

Video slideshows or montages are a fun way to bring photos and videos together to create a compelling and emotional story. When you add music or oral narratives or both, the result is a living album filled with movement and sound that triggers your senses.

Slideshows are a great option for family gatherings, special events, and celebrations. And they can be a fun option to enjoy on family movie night. Popcorn, PJs and precious family memories, can it get any better than that?

There are online solutions that make it easy for you to create slideshows by uploading photos and video clips. Some online services offer royalty free music and templates that make it simple for you to render a studio quality production in a few clicks. If you prefer a hands-on approach, iMovie (Mac) or MovieMaker (PC) may work for you, or you can invest in software solutions that come with more tools, effects, and support.

Tips for Video Slideshow Success

  • The shorter, the better! Attention spans aren’t what they used to be, so keep your slideshow to less than 10 minutes or even shorter depending on the event.
  • Use a combination of short videos clips (10-15 seconds long) and a variety of still photos to create movement.
  • Keep the photos moving along at a quick pace. The difference between 10 seconds a photo and 5 seconds, is huge. Stick to 5 seconds per image or less depending on the music.
  • Music can make or break your video! Music should match the tone and theme of your photos. Choose royalty free music especially if you plan to share your completed slideshow online.
  • Add an oral narrative. Record Grandpa narrating the story of his mom and dad and layer this audio with the photos and background music. Please pass the tissues!
  • Don’t go crazy with transitions. Keep it straightforward and consistent for the best viewing pleasure. The Ken Burns effect is still a classic and dramatic way to view slideshows.
  • Add your completed slideshow to your digital photo hub and back it up.

Pass the popcorn!

Here’s a great article with lots more ideas: https://www.organizingphotos.net/video-slideshows-memories/

30smDay 30: Schedule Regular Maintenance

Don’t skip this step! Now that you have your photos organized, or even if you are still in the process, create a plan to regularly maintain your collection. You will continue to take photos; life will get busy, and chances are you’ll forget about the important task of managing your collection if you don’t take steps to prevent that now.

Create a Routine

Routines help form healthy habits. Choose a time each week or after each event, to gather photos from your memory cards and smartphones, into your ‘to be organized’ folder in your photo hub. Don’t wait until your camera roll or memory card is full!

Schedule It

Choose a regular time each month to sort your ‘to be organized’ folder and then move those images into the folder structure in your hub. Flag or rate your favorite photos from that month to have printed or placed into an album. Check to make sure your backup systems are working or perform a manual backup. Add this important task to your calendar so you don’t forget!

Spring ahead, Fall forward

When it’s time to change your clocks, it’s time to run a diagnostic on your backup systems and external hard drives. Most EHDs come with a utility that allows you to run a performance scan.

Happy organizing!

You made it to the end of #SaveYourPhotos Month!! We hope you learned lots of great tips and will have fun enjoying your photos!

© The Photo Organizers. Join the Photo Organizers newsletter list to get tips and resources right in your email box. Just go to https://www.subscribepage.com/TPOlist to sign up.

#SaveYourPhotos Month Week 4

22smDay 22: Make Good Choices

When it comes time to choose your photo organizing software, you have to have an honest conversation with yourself. What is your technological ability, what platform (Mac/PC, Android/iOs) do you want to use, how much time do you have to maintain your process? Use the answers to those question to help guide your decision-making process.

23smDay 23: Store Printed Photos Safely

It’s important to store your physical photos and memorabilia safely. Experts advise opting for archival quality storage solutions kept in areas of stable temperatures and low humidity. No attics, garages or basements, please.

Pass The PAT Test

Printed photos (and memorabilia) should be stored in containers designed for archiving. To be considered ‘archival,’ products must meet rigorous standards developed the Image Permanence Institute, by passing the Photographic Activity Test (PAT). The PAT test is the international standard for photographic archival storage, and you can learn more about it at the Image Permanence Institute.

Keep It Clean

Before you place your scanned prints and memorabilia into their storage containers, wipe the surface of each photo with a clean, lint-free cloth to remove any residue or dust that may be on the picture. And of course, wear your gloves!

Perfect Storage Conditions

Your photo boxes and containers should be stored at room temperature with 40% humidity levels, and away from light.

Stay away from basements and attics and keep them off the ground, preferably on top shelves or the 2nd floor of your home. When floods occur, homes fill from the basement up. Even though your collection has been digitized, and backed up with the rest of your digital images, you should strive to secure your originals to best of your ability.

24smDay 24: Create Photo Albums

Printed photo books, scrapbooks, and photo albums don’t rely on technology to enjoy them. When you create physical photo albums or photo books, you increase the odds that your family story and precious memories will succeed you.

Here is an article about research that finds that looking at and talking about photos makes kids feel more connected and closer to their families and makes parents feel like more capable caregivers: https://chatbooks.com/printed-photo-report

Look here for more information on the joys of digital scrapbooking: http://thephotoorganizers.com/digital-scrapbooking/

25smDay 25: Create Family Archives

The way we share photos and tell our story has changed significantly in the last 20 years thanks to technology, the internet, and social media. We can use social platforms like Facebook or Instagram to share photos and stories. We can dig into the past through sites like Ancestry.com and we can store, organize and share large collections of images through sites like Flickr.

This type of social sharing has its downside too. Privacy, security and the preservation of your online photos is a growing concern as we hurl towards a digital future. So what’s the answer?

Create a Private Family Archive

Fortunately, some solutions offer a private, secure place to archive your images, videos, audios, and documents. Online family archives provide a living timeline of your family story and make it easy for you to collaborate and share with family members. When family members contribute photos and details, you begin to build a family archive that is rich in historical information.

Tips for Successful Family Archives

Be selective: A family archive is a carefully constructed online album, not a dumping ground for all your photos. Choose pictures and videos that best tell the story and leave the rest in your digital photo hub.

Be descriptive: Imagine future generations viewing your archive. Is there enough information in the photo descriptions? Have you mentioned full names (and maiden names) to help piece together your family tree? Have you told important family stories?

Involve others: You can’t remember everything! Engage as many family members as you can to help add family history to your narrative.

Make good choices: The internet is filled with free and paid for services so do your homework. An online archive can become a family heirloom that succeeds you so choose wisely. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Is the archive easy to setup and manage? Is it user-friendly and does the provider offer tutorials or training?
  • Do you maintain ownership over your image? Read the fine print!
  • Do you have complete control over your image privacy settings and are they easy to understand?
  • Does the provider protect your privacy regarding your personal info? FREE services mine your data for advertising purposes and share your information with third party services.
  • Does the provider keep your image metadata intact and in its original size? Some services compress your image and strip your metadata upon upload.
  • Does your provider have any space limitations? Some services have a cap on how much space you have.
  • Does your provider make it easy for you to retrieve or download your photos if you choose to discontinue the service? Some services charge you a fee or have download restrictions.
  • Does the service offer keywording, ratings and a folder or album organizing feature and how is this information captured in the metadata? Some providers have very limited organizing options and don’t embed metadata in the image file upon download.
  • Does your online provider have backup redundancies in place and high-level security?
  • Does your provider offer a succession plan for your photos? If you pass away, will your family be able to access your account?

Telling your story is about so much more than posting photos and seeing how many likes you get. It’s more than a folder structure, neatly organized. Your complete family story shares your values, your beliefs, your contributions in the world around you and your hopes and dreams. It connects the past to the present and inspires future generations.

26smDay 26: Celebrate and Share

Your family photos and videos hold the key to your family narrative and serve a profound purpose, telling the story of your family. Now it’s time to celebrate and share your story and the photos that go with it.

Family stories build self-esteem. The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned.

The New York Times published an excellent article in 2013 by Bruce Feiler called, “The Stories that Bind Us.” He reports that families who refine and retell a unifying narrative about their positive moments and resilience during difficult times, produce children who consistently show more self-confidence. Knowing the answers to questions such as; Do you know where your parents grew up? Do you know the story of your birth? Do you know of an illness or something difficult your family has experienced? was the best predictor of a child’s mental health and happiness.

Your family photos and videos hold the key to your family narrative and serve a profound purpose. With your newly organized memory collection, you have the ability now to curate your family stories into photo books, wall displays, video montages, online photo albums and so much more.

It’s time to celebrate and share your story with the people you love.

Here is a great article on the importance and impact of sharing our stories: https://www.cathinelson.com/single-post/2018/05/20/The-Gift-of-Memories

27smDay 27: Convert Home Movies

Time is not your friend when it comes to home movies on film. And honestly, when was the last time you watched them? Have them digitized and get them back in your life again. Here’s a great source: https://scandigital.com/

Let’s talk about your home movie collection. Remember that clunky VCR camera that helped you capture your baby’s first steps? Do you have memories of watching grandpa’s home movies with the family projector? When was the last time you were able to enjoy these memorable glimpses into the past?

Your Memories Are Fading

It’s time to do something about the rest of your memory collection trapped on film or magnetic tapes. These treasures are particularly delicate and need your attention soon. Magnetic tapes (VCR) have a shorter lifespan than film (grandpa’s home movies) and begin to deteriorate after ten years. But film has its problems too. If you smell vinegar, or your film has white or green chalky particles, then you need to act fast and work with a professional conversion service.

What to look for in a Home Movie Conversion service

Investigate how the work is done and who is doing it. Transfer services are abundant, and many of them use primitive equipment with minimally trained staff or film handlers. Many of these services use a modified projector with a video camera in it which tapes the image. They often don’t have the tools to improve the picture and can damage the film, and sometimes your film is sent out of the country.

Look for transfer services that use a sprocket less, capstan system designed specifically for scanning. This is the same type of equipment used by the Film and TV industry. This kind of equipment has tools that offer color correction, dirt and scratch concealment, high resolution and more. You’ll pay more for high-end conversion, but it’s worth it.

Ask your provider about the quality of their output. What is the highest resolution they can provide? Your goal is to have a high-resolution original as your master copy that will remain in your hub. You will edit and use derivatives to transfer to DVD or stream online (YouTube or Vimeo). If your provider only offers transfer to DVD or streaming to an online account, find another vendor. These files are highly compressed.

Once your home movies are converted, rename the files and store in your digital photo hub in their corresponding folder.

Don’t Forget Your Digital Photo Hub

Now let’s circle back to when we encouraged you to choose a digital photo hub that has a large capacity and stored locally on your computer or external hard drive. Your entire memory collection, which now contains high res images and high res videos, needs a ton of space! As your collection grows, so does your space requirement. Your locally stored hub should be easy to duplicate (copy to an external drive) and backup (manually or automatically) and is readily available at all times (doesn’t depend on an internet connection).

28smDay 28: Decorate Your Home with Memories

Are you looking for instant gratification while you work on that family archive or photo album? Decorate your home with the people you love! While you organize photos, you’ll come across pictures that are too good to keep hidden. Look for frame-worthy images that you can display on walls or turn into photo gifts for others.

Here are a few ideas:

Gallery Wall: Choose a collection of frames that suit your decor and create a feature wall in your home. This is an excellent way to showcase heritage photos, family weddings, a special event or vacation or the growth of your kids.

Canvas Prints: Canvas is lovely for its ‘art-like’ quality and makes a great statement piece. Look for unique fun photos that evoke conversation and storytelling.

Digital Displays: An excellent choice for technology-challenged family members. This plug and play way to display image slideshows is perfect for people who want a quick, easy way to showcase their memories.

Photo Products: There are many ways to take your favorite photos and turn them into photo gifts for you or someone special. You can choose from photo blankets, wall calendars, mugs, puzzles, ornaments, smartphone covers, and stationery, to name a few.

Click here for more information and ideas: https://www.saveyourphotos.org/blog/enjoy-photos-now

© The Photo Organizers. Join the Photo Organizers newsletter list to get tips and resources right in your email box. Just go to https://www.subscribepage.com/TPOlist to sign up.