Your child’s first Halloween costume, hands of a grandparent holding the hand of your firstborn, the first day of kindergarten, first visit with Santa, catching fireflies on a summer evening...life is made of memories. Now that my daughters are 9 and 11 - pictured above zooming by like time has - I'm so glad I've had the opportunity, unlike my growing up, to capture so much of their lives with my mobile device and camera. However images aren't meant to hide in the darkness of a hard drive. Let's talking about really preserving them and the paper you can print them on.
I, like most of you, grew up in an age of film, point and shoot, waiting a week for your images to develop and receiving actual tangible pictures you could hold in your hand. It was sometimes a surprise at what you saw when you opened up that envelope. You then framed those memories or stored them in a photo album to be past down from generation to generation. We also experienced the end of this era.
With the arrival of digital and the ease of getting images within seconds of downloading them people are no longer printing images. Will your grandkids stumble on your digital collection hidden among folders on in an obsolete computer or a box of actual photographs containing pics of youthful you and their parent as a kid?? Technology is always becoming obsolete. If you loose some of those images due to computer crash or heaven forbid the cloud breaks down then those are memories lost forever -for some it is hard to remember things you don’t remember without a reminder. Did you know computer crashes are more occurring than home fires?
It’s important to take time to print off images that hold special meaning or a memory you want to relive years from now. Don’t loose them to a computer crash or obsolete technology. Use services such as Mpix.com to create heirloom style albums to preserve your memories. Digital is fine to capture these moments but there is something special about holding the image in your hands and reliving the moment – being in the moment of a beautiful life experience. Lately my daughters, now 9 and 11, have loved going through old pics to see them as little ones and me as a teen or kid. We don't sit at the laptop and go through them ever but instead pull out the photo boxes and tell stories.
How to Preserve Your Memories Through Photographic Prints
- Mark your calendar every couple months to go back through the past months images.
- Star, favorite or copy and past your favorite images to an “order” folder.
- Use an online printing site such as mpix.com who will give you high quality images for a great price. The turn over is quick and much better than a drugstore print lab.
- Once your images arrive, frame a few and store the rest. I store mine in archive photo boxes.
- I also love creating albums. Your photographer can usually create a custom album of your images. There are many other sites out there that allow you to create albums from your hi-resolution images. I suggest Mpix.com.
Want Some Free Prints??
I also have an app called Free Prints & Photobooks. These are fantastic. I get 85 free 4x6 prints a month and 1 free photo book a month. I pay shipping and an fees to upgrade. Simple. You can even connect it to your social media, Google Drive or Dropbox.
Digital Preservation & Backing Up
While talking about preserving your memories it’s also important to note your computer could crash anytime as mentioned above. You need to have your images backed up digitally as well. Here are a couple of great articles discussing the very topic. Sites like Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud can save your images as well. Invest a few dollars in storage - you won't regret it.
The intangibility of digital imagery, as well as technology constantly changing, negatively affects photo preservation and retrieving. Technology is constantly becoming obsolete among software or storage devices. Ten years ago one could back up to DVD but now many computers don’t even come with a DVD drive. The DVD is almost obsolete now. Now that data needs to be converted over to USB’s, dropbox storage, etc. How long with this technology last? In one hundred years do you really think these technologies will exist outside an antique store? I’m sure no one thought film would become a thing of the past. Preserve and print your memories. It's a decision you will never regret.