No Room For Albums
When we moved into our smaller space, we simply did not have room for the family photo albums we had lovingly assembled over the years. We had no choice but to box them up and put them in an unfinished attic.
Concern About Loss
Although we had not looked at most of the albums for decades, it still felt wrong to put them in an inconvenient and somewhat unprotected space. Family photographs comprised the few sentimental items remaining after our mega-edit of over 80% of our possessions. Making the memory books inaccessible undercut the purpose for retaining them.
Resolve to Not Get Used to It
When I worked as a house cleaner, I was consistently surprised at how quickly people could tune-out glaring upkeep issues. Needed work became “invisible” if it was left unattended for a certain period of time.
As we approached our first attic storage anniversary, I knew we needed to take action or our albums and the need to protect them would be largely forgotten.
Process Easier Than Anticipated
Once started, the process of digitizing our family albums was much easier than anticipated. While there are many wonderful tools and protocols, we simply removed photos from albums and sorted them into batches such as “1980 Ranch”, “2006 Graduation”, “2009 Hawaii”, etc. Placing the year in front of the batch description created an easy to follow chronology. We then ran the batches through our ScanSnap scanner and uploaded the images to DropBox. Such made the images accessible on all our devices and easy to share. It was also a great comfort to have the images backed-up and significantly safer from loss.
First Surprise Benefit – Discovery of Hidden Love Letters
As I mentioned, we had not opened most of the albums for decades. I had forgotten the numerous postcards we had included in the albums due to our family practice of purchasing extra postcards to supplement our rather deficient photographic skills.
As I began removing postcards from the magnetic pages, I discovered most were not blank. Rather, much to my delight, we had a huge cache of long forgotten messages sent by beloved family members who have since passed. These beautiful messages shared tales of adventure and love.
Second Surprise Benefit- Easy “Then-and-Now” Photos
With family images easily accessible on my iPhone, we could now take time-lapse pictures with family members re-creating a scene from a photograph taken years earlier. What fun!!
Third Surprise Benefit – Opportunity to Reach Out
As we assembled our new digital database of family images, we came across images we knew others would want to see. With a few clicks, we were able to forward images that opened new lines of communication and allowed us to reconnect with loved ones. In so doing, we rediscovered why the images were so precious to us in the first place. They preserved memories and created new opportunities to connect with our loved ones. It was a legacy worth preserving, cherishing… and sharing.
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We would love to hear how you save and share family images. Please let us know in the comments below.
Originally posted on http://SimpleLifeReboot.com