Memories That Last: Photo Storage Explained
We are all responsible for recording our family’s history. How do we preserve those memories? By taking photos, of course!
I personally look at photography as tho I am the family historian. I feel that if it’s not me documenting every smile, every tear, every pair of dirty toes, then who. It’s not enough that we take the photos, we need to preserve them too.
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In a perfect world, we would all be running to the drugstore on the corner to pick up our printed images every week, and maybe some of you are! Kudos to you!! We would be scrapbooking every memory and milestone that our children make. We would celebrate the silver anniversary of our parents with an entire photo album dedicated to their lives. BUT…. we live in a hurry-hurry, rush-rush world where making the time to be creative isn’t always our priority. I get it.
When our oldest child was a baby, I had so much more time than I feel I have now. (and less gray hair!) He has a baby scrapbook and even a 2-year-old toddler scrapbook. Oh, they’re so pretty y’all, filled with cute stickers, fancy paper and… my own handwriting. He’ll surely treasure these for many years after I have left this world. All of this was done before technology made it so easy to take a photo and delete it if I didn’t like it.
Our middle child, while we have more videos of his life as a toddler, I don’t have many printed photos of him, and he doesn’t have a completed baby book. But those videos! Maybe he’ll cherish them as much as his brother will cherish his scrapbooks, and know that it was all done out of the same amount of unconditional love.
Then there’s our daughter. Can you possibly imagine how many photos I take of her on a weekly basis? If you follow my Instagram, you *may* have a small clue, but… that’s not even a dent of what I actually have. The videos and actual photos that I have taken of her…she is probably the most documented toddler on the planet.
One way to preserve those memories is of course scrapbooking. You can do this the traditional way, or you can create your scrapbook, DIGITALLY and then have it printed out! Becky Higgins has made it her life’s passion to make scrapbooking easier for us! With Project Life, you can style your pages effortlessly. There are stickers, papers, all kind of fancy packages. You can order physical materials (even get them at your local craft store) or take it on the go with her app. Yes, there’s even an app for that!
I love Instagram, it’s no secret. With the tap of the “share” button, I can let everyone know what we’re doing, at any time. Something that makes Instagram even better, is knowing there’s a service that allows me to have those same memories printed with just a few taps.
If you use Instagram, Chatbooks is what you’re looking for! This incredibly affordable book is super easy to use! Just download their app, log in to your Instagram account, and order your book. You’ll be amazed by how much time you’ll save with Chatbooks. Available for both Apple and Android.
Smartphones are here to stay. They’re only going to get better and better as time goes on. The cameras that are integrated into these hand held computers have come a long way since the first flip phone with a camera.
If you’re keeping them on your phone or computer, you probably know by now that you’re going to run out of room pretty quick, if you haven’t already. Just the other day I transferred over TWO THOUSAND photos from my phone to my computer. That is something that I do about every 3 or 4 months because I am constantly taking photos.
My computer isn’t my first choice for photo storage, and in the beginning of the digital age, I actually stored them on CDs. I have learned, since then, that CDs aren’t forever. The files on a disk can become corrupt and you lose that precious photo. Or worse than that, perhaps the entire disk is corrupt and you’ve just lost a year or more of your family’s precious memories. What would Grandma say about that?!
I have since started using an external hard drive, okay, so maybe I have three, but hey, I take a LOT of photos. 🙂 They are considerably less expensive than they were when they first came out, and that makes them quite attractive for safe storage. HOWEVER, as with all things digital, they can also become corrupt over time, so you’ll need to make sure you check them often.
One of my favorite memories from when I was a child was my Grandma’s family photo albums sitting on the coffee table. I remember looking through them and thinking how beautiful she was in the years before I was born. Now that I am grown and have children of my own, those types of photo albums really are a thing of the past. It saddens me really, but I am thankful there are services like Snapfish.
Snapfish not only offers prints, but you can create and print books too. I LOVE this!! Why? Well, because if your family homeschools, you can use this to make your child their own yearbook! Many homeschool associations and co-ops offer a yearbook, but it’s not a given. Take advantage of this service and make gifts, yearbooks, photo album prints and yes, even a coffee mug for Grandma.
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Another option is to store your images in the cloud. It seems that every platform has their own brand of cloud storage now, so it doesn’t matter if your Apple, Mac, Windows or Android, there is a cloud service for you. Storing in the cloud is very convenient from your smartphone if you have “auto back-up” enabled on your smartphone. Many of them are free, up to a certain amount of space. My preferred cloud storage is Google Photos. I have it set to sync over wifi only. All of our memories are then accessible from my phone or my computer. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
With all of the options available, there’s no reason your memories can’t stand the test of time. I encourage you to consider these options and find one that works best for your budget and your family. Grandma will thank you, and so will your kids.
We’re taking photos more now than we ever have in history, but I have to ask you, how are you storing them? Leave your methods in the comments.