Memories in May

The month of May brings the opportunity to head out to enjoy better weather and the realization that the school year is coming to an end. Many of us will be taking photos to capture memories from the upcoming summer – the fun times we have, the friends we get to see, and the travels we experience. But what do you do with all those photos after you have taken them? And what about the photos you have stored from past years and even decades? In honor of National Photography Month, let’s look at how to deal with our photographs. We’ll use the acrostic C.A.M.E.R.A. for our organizing tips.

Collect your photos – Your photos are likely scattered in multiple different areas and forms. The physical prints might be stored in shoeboxes, framed and on display, or compiled in albums. The digital photos might be on phones, in the cloud, on photo apps, or on your computer. Collect your photos from their various locations, so you are prepared for the next step.

Assess your collection – Now is the time to be critical. Make sure the photos you are keeping are important and of good quality. Delete duplicates and those that are out of focus or unidentifiable. Don’t allow unnecessary extras to distract from or dilute your valuable photos.

Make a storage plan – How you store your photos may vary depending on the content. You may want to keep a few special photos in physical form, like a wedding album or framed baby picture. Others you may choose to digitize and display in a rotating digital frame, keep accessible in your phone photo album, or store electronically.

Execute your vision – If you are keeping prints, make sure they are protected. Store them in acid-free containers or framed for display. Preserve the rest of your photos by scanning and storing them digitally. There are several scanning methods to choose from based on your priorities. Various smart phone apps are available that are cheap and convenient to use but produce a lower quality/ lower resolution copy. Photo scanners are a bit more time consuming but result in higher quality/ higher resolution scans that preserve all the fine details.

Record the content and context – Adding information to each photo, such as person, date, location, or event, makes your collection more accessible and enjoyable. If you are digitizing physical photos, you will want to associate this information with the new image files. You can do this manually or use automatic tools that recognize people and places to help create labels and tags. This enables you to search your photos for specific people or events.

Appreciate and share your memories – Now that you have an organized photo collection, take time to enjoy your favorite memories and share them with family and friends.

Wishing you a summer full of memories and the photos that help you enjoy them forever! © 2021 Beth Giles

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