Families tend to reminisce about old memories around the holidays, often digging out photographs and rehashing some of the most embarrassing or important moments in each other’s lives together. While grandparents – and some parents – may still have boxes and drawers full of old photos, the rest of us have become accustom to just emailing, downloading or transferring photos the digital way. Read on for easy ideas on how to store, convert and share physical photographs to help make the torturing – or rather, reminiscing with family members even easier.
How To Properly Store Photographs and Negatives
As anyone who’s ever left a stack of photos in a hot car only to come back and find them all stuck together can attest, photos do best when kept in a cool, moisture-free zone. That obviously rules out basements, but also means attics are a bad storage spot for photos since they rarely have good insulation. Any temperature changes will be reflected on photos as curling edges. Dark, interior room closets away from bathrooms or kitchens are the best spot to store photos.
It’s also important to store photographs and negatives in a special photo box with a lid to keep out dust and light that could lead to faded colors. These boxes are acid-free to reduce their effect on the contents. Recipe-style index cards are great for separating photos by year, person or subject.
Most photos that were developed before the digital revolution came with negatives of the film in case a reprint was necessary. Keep each roll of film’s negatives separate from other developed film’s negatives to avoid confusion. Also, keep in mind that most big box stores don’t have film developing areas anymore, however some retailers still offer the services online.
Converting Old Photographs to Digital Files
The easiest and best way to convert old photographs is by scanning them using either a home scanner or taking them to an office supply store that offers scanning. One of the biggest downfalls of this method however is the amount of time it takes to scan all the images and the amount of office space a large all-in-one printer takes up. Instead, some people have found that taking a photo of the photos can be just as effective while saving time and storage space.
Create a Photo Book to Share Photos While Maintaining Nostalgia
Of course, after converting photos to digital files sharing becomes much easier via CDs, email or social media, but it can seem impersonal. Instead, a digital photo book can be made online by one member of a family and several copies can be printed at once to share. Photo books, like the photo albums that came before them, can be viewed by many family members at once and take up much less storage space than the actual photos themselves without sacrificing a physical presence. A popular idea is to choose a theme, such as the holidays, and create a photo book full of memories involving that theme.
Keeping the tradition of passing around a photo album or a stack of vacation photos alive is easier than ever with today’s technology. Just be sure to keep originals safe and stored correctly. Happy holiday memories!
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