Keeping on top of your photos & Preserving your precious memories

How good are you at saving, storing, printing and displaying your photos? Are these precious memories laying precariously on a memory disk waiting to be attacked by some weird digital virus? Are they laying dormant in your computer waiting to crash and burn?

This weeks post has been inspired by my week of collating photos for my husbands 40th birthday celebrations.  I have had lots of laughs, a few tears and an overall flooding back of all manner of memories as I waded through the images. This last week has again reminded me just how fast time is going, and just how quickly those around me (myself included) are changing, growing and greying.

Whilst I am a photographer and photos are what I love, I often have people comment on their own lack of good ‘photo procedures’. They love looking at the books that lay on my coffee table and the prints and canvas’ that adorn my walls but often lament their own inability to keep up with their own photo taking, displaying and storing. You don’t have to be a photographer however to develop good photo practises, so here are a few reminders for those of you who struggle.

Take Lots of Photos

Whilst this is something that comes more naturally to some, taking photos need not happen only on special occasions. There really is no excuse now with the compact size of cameras and the always improving quality of phone cameras. Some of my favourite photos of my kids have been from those impromptu moments, those everyday instances that turn into everlasting memories.

This one was result of a tube of zinc cream and a distracted mother breastfeeding a newborn.  ( taken on an iphone)

Back up your Photos

This is something that I and many others have learnt the hard way. Once photos are off the camera, (and this should be done regularly as cameras get lost and stolen) then it is important to make sure that you don’t leave all your images on the computer in the hope that you will one day do something with them. As great as our technology is, it occasionally stuffs up. Computers crash, get wiped and stolen, and thus you run the risk of losing precious memories. I now back up onto CD’s or USB sticks and save to a portable hard drive. I even have some special photos and documents stored at my mums house in case we have another theft, or god forbid the house burns down!

 Be Creative and Display

There are so many ways to display photos now that we no longer have to bore people with slide nights or make them wade through dusty old photo albums. With my own family photos I now print a coffee table book at the end of each year, which is far more inviting for people to flick through. I have also done one for each of the older boys from birth until their first day of school. This was a little time consuming at first as 2 of them were born before the digital age so it meant scanning in their photos, but it was definitely worth it as they now love looking and laughing at themselves as they have changed through the years. I use a company called Momento, but now there are many cheaper options that are available just about anywhere you get photos developed.

Printing your photos onto canvas is another great way to display your images as artwork. I also love making collages of different subjects and can very quickly and easily drop and drag photos to create prints such as the ones below. For these I used Picasa and it literally took me 5 mintues. And of course there is always the baby photos printed on a stubby holder….if you don’t think that is just a little bit wrong!

                    A few snaps from a day at the beach can become a colorful storyboard…
                  and a fun one I made of my husband catching up on some zzzz’s with the kids!

And let us not forget how easy it is to make your photos look professional with the abundance of photo apps available on your iphone that allow you to quickly and easily add all sorts of filters and edits to give your happy snaps a creative burst. Some of my favourites are Instagram, Pictureshow, qbro, Picframe, Dynamic Light and Camera+.

But whatever your “photo practises’ may be, I encourage you to try and get a system in place so that you always have this precious, priceless and tangible way to remember people, places and moments in time.

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Ai Sakura

    Excellent post! I am one of those that have very poor photo organisation skills. I take so many and do back up, but back up all over the place! On cds, hard disks, thumbdrives etc.. need a concrete place and I really should get down to printing more of the pics 🙂

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka
    Weekly feature: Wordless Wednesday Linky Party

    1. Martine

      At least you know they are all safe until you get around to printing them, so that’s definitely a good start 🙂

  2. Mel

    Well I’m half good then. 🙂 I take photos all the time, and do manage to get the photos off the camera semi-reguarly, and they are backed up monthly to 2x external hard drives (in case one fails) and the “best of the best” are always uploaded to either my blog or facebook (or both). BUT I don’t print enough off and put them in albums. Both our kids have their own album and it stops, oh, around 18mths ago – when my daughter was about 6mths old (yes, she’s now 2). I managed to print a stack off in the recent sales and because I had 50 free prints with an online store, but they’re now sitting in their packets on a shelf with the albums waiting for someone to kindly organise them and put them in the albums. I really should take more time to do that because the kids love looking at them and so do I – its amazing how much you forget, and how just seeing a photo brings back all of those wonderful memories. Thanks for the reminder and hopefully I’ll be inspired to do some organising!

    1. Martine

      Good idea to back up to two external hard drives, I had one fail on me last year and couldn’t retrieve anything. Luckily I had also backed up on CD’s. It is very common to have a very enthusiastic start to our baby albums and then they have them wain out. And yes you definitely do forget how quickly they all change. 🙂

  3. Née

    I have 100’s of pics everywhere & really need to get more organised. I do make sure I upload my fave snaps to Facebook so I have a virtual backup as well!

    1. Martine

      A virtual backup is a great idea too. Good luck with getting them more organised.

  4. Jess

    I have only just downloaded photos from a a year ago! I’m shocking! And since I’ve had my iPhone, I rarely get the camera out, but I need to make more of an effort.

    Great post. 🙂

    1. Martine

      I’m quite sure you are not the only one Jess but hopefully this gives you a little reminder to keep on top of them 🙂

  5. Laney @ Crash Test Mummy

    Some good advice here Martine, especially regarding actually enjoying your photos. So many of mine are still unprinted and not on display. I started a 5 step crash test on digital photo organisation, but haven’t covered Storage and Backup yet. Perhaps I should just send people over here? 😉

  6. Anna Millie

    Thank you for the reminder! I am so bad at it. I take lots of photos and then don’t do anything with them. I hereby commit to backing them up and printing some over the next week!

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