February's Photo Book Idea is an ABC photo book.
Toddlers and parents alike will love this themed book. Each page would represent a letter of the alphabet and a photo you choose, or better yet took, with your toddler. A is for Apple, B is for Banana, etc. Get creative with it. Once you've completed the book, upload to any on-line photo book printer and enjoy! Your toddler gets to learn and spend quality time with you at the same time, while you enjoy and create family memories.
So you want to get some family photos scanned but you're not sure where to start? Have no idea how to find the right person / company for the job?
Here are a few of the questions you should have answers to before you decide:
1. Are they Certified Photo Managers?
A Certified Photo Manager has made the time and financial committment to become educated on best practices, maintain up to date standards and connect with specialists in all areas of photo management. If they don't know how to do it, they can connect you with someone who does.
2. What resolution will your prints be scanned at?
For many companies it is all about speed, not quality. Scanning your photos at a low resolution for the purpose of speed or due to low quality equipment can seriously restrict what you can do with the digital images in the future. You may not be able to use low resolution images in photo books, video montages or enlarge them for framing. Best practices would involve scanning images at a resolution that is compatible with your digital storage space and useful for any future photo projects. 600 dpi is what I would recommend for most images.
3. What service options are available?
If you hand over a messy box of old, disganized photos in, will you be sent home with a scanned digital mess too? Many companies will only offer a scanning service, so if you bring them a mess, you will simply take home a digital mess as well. Most of my clients bring me their disorganized photos because they don't want to deal with the overwhelm themselves. As a Certified Photo Manager, I can not only organize their print photos but build an organized folder system for their digital images, with the correct orientation, and file renaming and tagging, making it easy to find the photos they want to view and share. I can consult with clients on a personalized print and digital storage and sharing system that works with their technical abilities and goals for the photo project.
4. What are their standard operating procedures to protect your photos from damage?
Cotton or medical gloves should be worn when handling photos to protect them from dirt and skin oils. As well, options should be available for scanning delicate photos, letters, etc. from damage, such as using specialized scanners or camera scanning. Your family memories should be treated with care, find out if you will receive a personalized experience or if your photos are simply one of 20 other projects that will be tossed into the automated scanner that day.
These are just a few of the questions you will want to know before you choose which business to trust your scanning project to, but it should give you a good start. In the end, you have to feel confident that they will do a good job on your scanning project and that they are knowledgable and upfront with their service agreement, fees and should be happy to answer your questions. Happy scanning!!!
2020 is over now and you have settled into the new year. Many might say "good riddance to 2020" and others may have fond memories, but regardless of what the year held for you, It was worth taking note of.
There are many ways to hold onto this information for ourselves and the future generations. A photo / memory book of your year may be the perfect momento with pictures and stories to explain the changes that occured, how the family members felt and what it has been like for them.
Maybe a slideshow saved on a USB stored with your vital documents is the right choice for you. Its super inexpensive and available to anyone using microsoft powerpoint on their computer. It is an easy option for the less techy individual.
Or even a video compilation of the families journey through the year. Quick, little videos taken on your phone video camera of loved ones talking about their year and what impacted them the most. If you are an iphone user, you can use the movie app on your phone to quickly throw together the compilation for viewing.
You need to find a way that is natural and easy for you to collect these memories or it will fall to the bottom of the to do list. Set an appoint ment with yourself to tackle this project, as you will one day be thankful that you did.
You could share your year in review with others or maybe just keep it as a video diary for yourself but even if it is just a story for your children similar to the "I had to walk uphill both ways in 10 foot deep snow everyday just to get to school" stories that we heard as kids, it is worth remembering and trying to find something in it to be grateful for now or if not now, then in the future.
Here's hoping for a great 2021!
I was looking at my school day treasures book the other day and I was so thankful that my mother kept it for me until I was able to take it over. Its a little on the damaged side but it has become so valuable to me to look back and be reminded of the simpler times and how I have changed over the years. My next photo project is to scan all of the pages and mementos and turn it into a photo book so it can last me for several more years and my kid can get a kick out of laughing at pictures of my younger self and read about what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Its so important to collect, secure and organize kids memories for them to enjoy upon adulthood. Its such a thoughtful gift to give them one day to reminisce over. You'll want to get started at the beginning of a school year because its the easiest time to set it up while you are prepping for back to school.
It doesn't matter if they're a little older now as most people still have those lifetouch photo bags with left over school pictures from when they started school, so you can at least fill out most of the pertinent information and post a photo from previous years.
You can certainly purchase pre-made books like this for memory collecting at dozens of retailers, but they are often too small to keep much in the pockets and can get expensive. if you want to keep costs down, you can build your own for much less. All you need is a presentation binder of sheet protector pockets and some printables. I have provided links to access both below.
As far as what to keep in the pockets, report cards, class pictures without the cardboard frame, awards, samples of their work and photos of their art projects are the most popular but keep anything small that will make them go "awwwwe". Have fun creating your school treasures book!
Sorting your family photos can seem like a really daunting task, especially when confronted with boxes upon boxes of photos. I mean, where do you start, right?
Before I start a big project like this I make sure I have all the tools I'm going to need. If you have to continuously stop, go find something and then restart the sorting session, you're less likely to get much of anything done. So what exactly are you going to need?
My sorting toolkit consists of the following:
1. garbage bags
2. rubbermaid totes / bankers boxes
4. photo safe pen
5. sticky notes
6. sorting criteria
7. clipboard, pen
8. ziploc bags
No one has time to complete a large project like this in one sitting, so I have broken it down into more manageable pieces. I would usually set myself a timer for this first sort to ensure that I don't go down the rabbit hole of reminiscing over each photo and get lost in time. For this first sort all you will need from the kit is the garbage bag, and tote. You will only be sorting the photos into keep and toss based on the criteria you have prepared. Your criteria may look something like this, but make yours to fit your needs.
Toss the following photos:
1. Blurry: Unless it has supreme sentimental value, there is no need to keep these
2. Doubles / triplicates
3. Poor quality with a finger in the photo or something similar
4. Landscapes: unless they evoke a specific and sentimental memory you're not likely to look at the photos ever again from the trip you took back in 1982. Images of people will likely have much more meaning to you.
5. If you don't have a clue who the people in the picture are nor does anyone else in the family.
Now get comfortable and complete the keep and toss sort. Don't get stuck in the notion that getting rid of a photo of someone is akin to getting rid of the person. The first time I sorted my own photo collection, I had difficulty tossing the hundreds of extra school pictures I had of my daughter. It seemed wrong to throw away anything related to her, like it was bad karma or something. I finally went and asked for her opinion on the matter. She laughed at me. That's just stupid mom was the answer I received. I realized it was a non rational fear and threw them all out except for one copy of each. Now, I take no issue with tossing images of any type.
The second sort is more involved and will take more time, with a greater risk of getting drawn into the memories. Try to keep on task as much as possible. Once your project is completed you will have more time to appreciate your photos and their memories.
This time you will be sorting your remaining photos into broad categories. You will want to decide before you start this sort, what types of categories you will use. People, years, events, some other theme.
You'll need to get your containers ready (or just make piles). You will use the sticky notes to write down the categories as you come across them. If you come across photos that you need to write something on the back of them, use the photo safe pen. Other pens and some pencils will push through to the other side of the photo causing damage.
As you work through this sort, you may come across categories that have dozens of photos of the same event. Challenge yourself with those large categories and save only the best 5 of each event. Your photos should hold meaning and 25 pictures from your friend's cousin's wedding probably isn't necessary for the memories.
If your time runs out before this sort is complete, use the ziplocs to keep the photos sorted until your next session.
Choosing storage and backups for your precious photos is incredibly overwhelming and there are so many things to consider. I will speak to this more in upcoming posts and want to only discuss one of the many options available that I am familiar with and when you should consider using it. That is Backblaze.
Backblaze is an automated backup service. For a truly minimal fee, Backblaze, once installed, automatically backs up your entire computer and your external hard drive and is incredibly easy to recover.
The backup is stored off site in the cloud, meaning that unlike syncing services similar to DropBox, it will not slow down your computer and use up space on your hard drive. It works in the background to update new materials regularly.
This would be one part of the 3 part 3-2-1 backup suggested for all photos. 3 backups, 2 different formats, at least 1 off-site, in the cloud. Backblaze is a great option for the cloud storage part of your 3 part photo backup solutions with the added bonus of protecting everything else on your computer as well. I suggest using the free trial below first to see if its the right solution for you before purchasing.
I use SmugMug religiously in my photo organizing business. I use it as one of my main photo storage areas for both clients and my own personal photos. I love the flexibility of the settings of each folder and gallery so that people can only see, and download based on my permissions. I also love how easy it is to upload to galleries by simply sending people a customized link. I think it is one of the best options for families to all share access to their family photos. If after you watch the video, you want to try if for free, click on the affiliate link below.