By Amy Phipps on | No Comments
I recently ran into a friend at Target. She was at the photo kiosk with the memory card from her camera getting a few photos printed. She went on to tell me that she has every photo of her 2 year old taken on that little memory card. I’m pretty sure I gasped out loud. I couldn’t help myself. What would happen if she lost that tiny card or it became corrupt or her camera was stolen? All those memories from the first couple years of her daughter’s life would be gone.
I know firsthand how devastating that can be. On two separate occasions I’ve lost photos. The first time was my wedding photos. I’ll never know exactly how it happened, but I accidentally threw them away. So the only photos I have from my wedding are the ones that friends and family took. Which is better than nothing. Then, about 6 years ago, my computer crashed. This was before I was a photographer so I didn’t know the importance of backing up images. I lost years of family photos.
After both of those experiences, I am here to tell you how important it is to print your photos and keep track of them. You took a photo of that moment for a reason. It wasn’t so the moment could live on in your computer or on a memory card. You took a photo of that moment so you could look back on it. So you could tell the story of what was important at that time.
Technology is rapidly changing and there may be a day where that little memory card will be obsolete. In just a short time, we’ve seen storing information on these devices below change drastically. The floppy disk is no longer used. Giving clients a CD used to be standard and now more and more photographers are giving USB’s. And then there’s the cell phone. Hundreds of pictures taken on the cell phone that will never be printed or looked at again. We all need to stop and remember why we took the photo. Photos allow us to stay connected to a memory. But they don’t do any good staying on a disk or a phone.
Scrapbooking is a fun way to save your printed images. Scrapbooking allows you to choose the photos you want for a layout and then journal just a couple sentences about the photo. Then you decorate the pages with a theme. This can be time consuming but great for those that need a creative outlet!
Storage boxes are good for sorting photos and having easy access to them. These boxes are close to the size of a shoe box, have a lid and usually include several divider cards. I have found that storage boxes really worked will for me. I group my photos into several different categories: Pets, Holidays, School, Sports, and Family. Then there’s a section for each of my children as well as myself. I always order double the photos so that they can have one copy and I get the other copy. When they get married, they’ll be given their own box of photos.
When it comes to sports or school photos, I place one in their section and one in the labeled section. I also have a separate box with some of the same photos that the kids are able to pull photos from. Sometimes they need photos for school projects. My daughter is 15 and she loves to decorate her walls or her binders with photos, so they all know that they can get what they want from that separate box and not to touch the sorted boxes!
Journaling with your photos is something I plan to start doing this summer. Order smaller size photos, like 4x4, adhere it to a journal and then under it describe what was going on in the photo and who the people are. I’ve been putting photos in a folder to get printed off so that I can start doing that once school gets out and my schedule slows down a bit. I love the idea of doing this. This will give life to my photos and will give me a daily outlet to write.
Want to see all your photos easily but don’t have time to do anything with them? Simply buy a photo album and slip them into the clear plastic cover and be done. I would advise you that if you choose this method to write the year on the back of the photos. That way you’ll have an idea of when the photo was taken. All 4 of my children are very close in age and I must admit, there are some baby photos that I can’t tell which child it is! Having a year on the back would avoid trying to figure out who I’m looking at!
Make sure that you have a backup of all your photos. Any photos that have ever been taken should be stored in an offsite location. There are several plans that you can look into that are either free or cost very little. If you are just starting to think about backing up your photos, I suggest Dropbox or Amazon (they have a service that stores unlimited photos for free if you are a prime member). For those of you that are professional photographers, look into sites that host your online galleries. Those often have archival options. There are other companies out there as well.
Whether you have photos already printed and sitting around somewhere or memory cards holding images on them, it’s time to get them organized. Print and organize them today. I can promise you won’t regret it.
Amy Phipps is the photographer behind On the Phippside Photography, located in Stockton, California. Amy has been married for 21 years and has 4 children. When she’s not trying to decide between which of her 43 black shirts to wear, you can probably find her sipping on a Dr. Pepper and walking around any day of the year in flip flops.