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Photograph keepsakes

(33 Posts)
netgran Sat 22-Jul-17 12:05:24

Hi everyone. I am sat here looking at a mountain of photograph albums and a mountain of the ones you got in the packet when you went to collect them from the developers (Boots, Kodak etc) We have recently downsized to an apartment and have no storage space for them whatsoever and my family live many miles away. Some of these photographs are very old sepia of my ancestors, right up to very new ones taken with my camera. In addition to all this, I have lots of digital ones taken with my phone and saved in electronic form! I have very special ones of family in frames which are displayed around the apartment. I really don't want to throw photographs away but need to have a serious sort out and would welcome any ideas??!!!

Pamish Sun 23-Jul-17 14:04:15

Copying photos on a phone will never be the best option. I'd suggest using a flatbed scanner - the sort that is A4 sized, usually very thin, easy to use (I would say that) but they just plug in via USB cable and usually find their own software. Cheap ones about £30 - £50. If you copy using a camera you have to (a) get close to fill the frame, (b) make sure it's parallel and (c) the trickiest bit, get the lighting even, with no reflections or weird colour casts (daylight is neutral, everything else will look yellow or green). A scanner has its own light so it sorts all these problems. Try to make the highest resolution scans you can eg 600ppi (pixels per inch), you can always get extra storage. You can rename the files with who is in them, and/or put them in folders with descriptions. You could add a Word doc to the folder with longer descriptions and thoughts - I'd love to have had such treasure from my mum about her and my family's youth.

I keep everything, multiple copies, including my negs and contact sheets on ring binders filed on some twelve feet of shelving. But it's my job, and my archives are the most valuable part of my work as no-one wants to pay for photography any more but they do have to pay me for old stuff. I have four copies of everything on hard drives - two in the PC, one on an external drive, and one in the shed in case the burglars get the rest or the house burns down. Storage is now cheap, fat memory sticks cost a few pounds but they can break down (or get stepped on) so use more than one.

Archives are precious. Some just to immediate family, some more than that. Like many of my peers we're trying to sort stuff out and declutter, and finding museums that will look after our work is an ongoing task. They want not just scans, but original prints, somehow they will find room. Right now I'm being loomed at by sixteen of those removal boxes holding all my b/w prints, returned to me when my agency had digitised them all. Most of them are no longer valuable as they are obscure meetings etc but I still have the negs anyway. Some are precious. Unfortunately they are totally jumbled so soon I will begin the job of sorting and chucking and relabelling and scanning, once I can make horizontal space to do so.

Then we come to the books....

SusieB50 Sun 23-Jul-17 15:23:57

When my father retired he spent a great deal of time putting all the photos going back generations into albums and of all our family holidays . He got rid of hundreds too and then labelled every photo with names and/or places . I'm for ever grateful he did, as after his death ten years ago at 86 we are still able to identify old relatives,and my mother now 94 with very poor short term memory loss can look through them and reminisce with delight as she clearly recognises everyone. They are very precious and I hope our children will still enjoy them in the future if one of us can find the space to store them ....

Heather23 Sun 23-Jul-17 17:16:47

Am going through the same process - good to know so many of us are facing the same task! I have large biscuit tins for each of the children and one general one. Am going through all the albums and throwing out all the views taken on holidays, etc and only keeping those of the family and writing on the back when and where taken. Empty albums either going in the recycling box or to charity shop. I will still be left with many albums that are mostly of the children and memorable holidays - they can choose which to keep in the future. As said before, it is sad that future generations will not have actual photos to look back on in the same way. I am also hoping to do some large collages of family photos as our new downsize home will not have the wall or surface space to display all the frames I have on show now! As for my Mum's collection - she has never attempted this task, part of my motivation to get my own done sooner rather than later. Good luck everyone!

JanaNana Sun 23-Jul-17 17:18:45

I made some albums/scrapbooks for my children...going right back from birth to various school photo,s ...holidays" ..special occasions..etc. Right through to their present day life. I added embellishments ..wrote a few little anecdotes here and there ....even snips of baby hair included as well. I saw on a craft programme how to do them and got quite carried away. Finally I made a personalised front covers.....then wrapped them up for their various birthdays. The surprise..shock...laughing was worth all the effort involved and is something they loved and will keep. It took quite a bit of time and patience but also gave the opportunity to have a good sort through ones that are no longer relevant to keep. However have to have plenty of time to do it as get quite carried away looking through all the old memories.

Penstemmon Sun 23-Jul-17 17:22:37

So far I have sorted our family pics into 'decade' boxes plus one box that is marked 'pre 50s' and I only kept those that I could write either the people/place/date The on the back. The plan is to scan/photograph them and store them all electronically ..but I have not got that far yet!

Janny62 Sun 23-Jul-17 17:56:13

I too have sorted photos, three lovely boxes for each child and
as equally as I can have distributed their childhood pics and that of their children. Old photos of grandparents, great grandparents have been put into a central box which they can sort out themselves!!

Legs55 Sun 23-Jul-17 20:44:01

I have sorted a lot of my photos as I now have little storage room. When DH died I passed all relevant photos to his DD & S to do what they wanted.

I also gave DD some photos, I have kept some of DD's early photos & family ones. My DM has most of the old family photos, she has tried to label as many as possible. Ultimately it will be down to me to sort them out. I have done some family tree tracing which my DD is interested in but with 2 young children she doesn't have the time.

Before DH & I downsized we went through all photo albums & discarded lots of his holiday photos, views & people he was no longer in contact with. One photo we had was of his ex-wife's DH's DM which we gave to him. It was the last photo taken of her & he was quite emotional about itsmile