In the last couple of weeks on #familyhistoryfriday, we’ve talked about both the WHY and the HOW of getting our photos out of digital form. Bringing our photos to life in this way allows us to see, hold, and actually interact with our photos. It helps us remember important moments, make connections, and experience the benefits of memory-keeping in a very real way.
However, we can know the why and the how but still have some hiccups along the way. Today we’ll look at some tips that will help you successfully bring your photos out of digital form to life.
As you know, you rarely “find” time for anything. You make it. But these days it’s often hard to add anything to our calendars. Consider these suggestions and think about what would work for you.
- An hour a week makes a difference. Setting aside just an hour on a Sunday morning or Friday night makes a difference. That’s 52 hours a year towards getting your photos off your phone or camera, putting them in albums, writing down your memories and stories, recording details of photos, etc. What kind of progress could you make on preserving photos and memories if you spent 52 hours on it this year??
- Make it a family activity. Can you imagine a better family tradition on a Sunday night? Talk, interact, and reminisce as you transfer photos from your camera to your computer or as you create digital memory-keeping books or as you sort printed photos and place them in album pages and write out the stories that accompany the photos.
- Consider the many ideas and suggestions included in this post about making time and see what ideas or tips stand out to you. Look for ways you could alter or prioritize that would help you find just one or two hours a week.
Where to Start
If you’re not already in the memory-keeping groove, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some getting-started steps (taken from here if you need a few more).
- Organize your photos. Chronologically by month and year works great for most people. Organize in physical envelopes or digital folders depending on the type of photo you have (hard copy or digital file). Once you know what you have and where it is, it’s a lot easier to move forward.
- Choose your favorites. Back in the day when we took two film rolls of 24 per year, we just kept every picture we took. But now it’s easy to take 240 photos per weekend trip. It’s OKAY to just choose your favorites. I know that’s really hard for some people, but it really is okay. You officially have permission to not preserve every photo you take. You’re welcome.
- Choose a memory-keeping method that is in line with the time you have available and your own interests. You don’t have to do what’s trendy. Do whatever works for you. There are lots of #familyhistoryfriday posts here at Evolve that have specific suggestions and ideas for possible memory-keeping methods. Find one that will work for YOU. Just make sure it’s high-quality! Nobody wants to spend time OR money twice.
- Keep your appointments with yourself. When “work on photos and family stories” is on your calendar, keep the commitment you’ve made to yourself and your family like you’d keep a lunch appointment with a friend. It’s definitely that important. Actually, more.
I have some great news! Many worthwhile things don’t provide immediate rewards, but memory-keeping isn’t one of them! When you start preserving photos and family stories, you’ll feel great. You’ll see familiar faces and good times and happy moments. Memory-keeping is grounding and calming, gives people a sense of purpose and belonging, and increases gratitude and happiness. Those happen all throughout the process, not just at the end of it. You get those benefits every time you sit down and preserve photos and memories.
The best part of this is that if you just START, you’ll want to keep going. The first time you spend an hour on a Friday night working on preserving memories and stories, you’ll come away feeling fantastic and you’ll look forward to doing it again. The benefits to the heart and soul make it a worthwhile and fulfilling activity, not a chore or a task.
So don’t delay! Start now, reap the rewards immediately, and reap them again and again as you look at completed albums, pages, and books.
photo of 12×12 lay-flat book from www.heritagemakers.com/jenniferwise
- Wise, Jennifer. (2017). Linked In. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/swimming-photos-heres-your-escape-plan-jennifer-wise