From Photo-Stasher to Heritage-Maker

What’s the best tip you read this month on #familyhistoryfriday?  Why getting digital photos out of digital form is a must?  How to turn digital files into actual photos?  Tips to make these goals into reality?  I hope you’ve found a life-changing nugget this month!  Once you have, how do you make the transition from photo-stasher to heritage-maker?  In other words, how do you stop just amassing photos and start turning them into family stories and heritage?

Listen to Yourself

You are unique.  The things that make you YOU will affect how you move forward using the tips you’ve learned so far on #familyhistoryfriday.  Introverts do things differently than extroverts.  If you like planning ahead, you’ll have preferences that differ from someone who likes making decisions as he/she goes.  Are you an HSP?  Do you think through everything and process things slowly or are you a more snap-decision maker?  All of these tendencies, preferences, and traits affect your everyday life and choices, so they will naturally affect your memory-keeping, too.

Listen to yourself.  Go with your strengths.  You may have to step out your comfort zone and stretch to do new things as you become a memory-keeper, but the more you enjoy the process the more likely you are to be successful and consistent.

Just Do It

Nike said it best with their “Just Do It” slogan.  If you want to get different results than you’ve gotten before, it’s important to DO something different.  Use the tips we’ve talked about, and move forward.  Just do it.  Make a plan, set goals, and GO.  Krista’s article a couple of months ago about setting SMART goals has some great advice for accomplishing goals.

Sometimes the first step is the hardest, but with something as fun and beneficial as preserving photos and memories and stories, the rewards come quickly.  You can easily use that momentum to propel you forward week after week and month after month as you consistently stay on top of your photos.  That’s what will make you a heritage-maker, not a photo-stasher.

Consistency is the Key

Recording family stories from the past generally has a conclusion.  When I recorded my own memories of my grandparents, I ended the story.  I could certainly add more in the future if I want, but I’m happy with what I’ve preserved so far.  It’s done, as far as I’m concerned. 

That’s not the case with my own story, my family’s story of the present.  It’s ongoing.  We’ll go on vacation again this year, and there will be birthdays and holidays and first days of school again this year.  And I will take pictures of all of it.  So will you.

To be a memory-keeper, I have to consistently repeat the steps we’ve talked about on #familyhistoryfridays this month.  I have to upload my photos from my camera and phone to my computer.  I have to then publish them with their stories (our memories) again and again.  We make new memories all the time.  New things happen in our family’s story, from a broken bone to a trip to Yellowstone or Disneyland, from graduations to cousins visiting.  As a heritage-maker, I record and preserve our story consistently.  And the good news is:  it’s fun!  (especially when it’s done consistently)

Keep Your Eye on the Goal


If you start to fall out of the habit of keeping up on your memory-keeping, keep your eye on the goal.  Connecting yourself and your children to those who came before you is powerful and has long-lasting effects.

When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves.  ~Russell M. Nelson

This is equally relevant if you’re NOT recording ancestor stories.  This is just as valid when you’re preserving family stories and photos from today.  Remembering good times and celebrations as well as the triumphs that have been overcome have a strengthening effect on children, adults, and families.

Besides that, every photo you have on your phone or camera was taken for a reason.  You wanted to remember.  You wanted to capture something beautiful, fun, memorable, funny, enjoyable, impressive, even sad.  So if you want to remember, you have to preserve.  You have to see the photo and read the memories associated with it.

That’s how to remember.  It actually keeps your memory from fading!

~Jennifer  #familyhistoryfriday


  1. Forbes. (2016). Retrieved from
  2. Nelson, Russell M. (2010). Retrieved from








Jennifer Wise

consultant at Heritage Makers
I'm Jennifer, and I'm passionate about connections.I enjoy helping people discover the very real benefits of preserving stories, photos, and memories because of the impact they have on children, families, and individuals. I blog weekly at sharing tips, ideas, solutions, and inspiration, and I'm over at, too. Learn more about me at the "About" tab.

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