Turn boxes of old photos and slides into a lovely family keepsake.
The first step is to sort. Do this with family members if you can. It is sure to spark discussion of cherished memories. Family is very important to me. Hey, my website tag line is Friendship, Family and Happily-ever-after.
Don’t start with a first project as all-encompassing as organizing all of the family photographs going back to 1900, like I did. Start with something small, like an album of your last trip, family time at the cottage last summer, or baby’s first year. If you have a huge number of photos, (which could happen when the family hears you are doing this and give you all of their family photos) sort them into a number of boxes for books of different sides of the family and different eras.
That’s the job I’m in the middle of now. I’ve done my mother’s childhood and family going back to 1910 in one book, 50 years at the cottage in another. My daughter Rosey did her childhood because she knew I’d never finish the job and now I’m in the middle of doing my father’s family and still have to organize the pics from my own childhood. Whew!
|But the finished books are worth it.|
Future generations could find my mother's or my old photos and not know who or what they depict - and toss them out. But a hardcover book with a family tree in the back - that's a keepsake.
As a bonus, different family members can order their own copies through the website – as mine did with the cottage book – in their choice of sizes and price points. Despite the different formats of the original images - old slides, prints, computer printed pictures from on the fridge, even captures from old videos - the finished product is amazingly homogeneous.
There are other companies who do this – I think even Walmart makes photobooks – but you get what you pay for. I like to use Shutterfly.
|Grandma's Lemon Syrup|
Step 1: SORT.
Be selective. VERY selective. But also inclusive. Consider, is everyone involved accounted for? Might you want to scan recipe cards of family favorites in Grandma’s handwriting? Or wedding announcements from the paper? It’s really like scrap-booking on a grand scale. If you are into it, Shutterfly offers enhancements, just like scrap-booking. Or add your own captions.
Step 2: SCAN THE PICTURES AND SLIDES.
It can be incredibly expensive to have slides scanned commercially, so even though my computer had a scanner, because of the number of slides I wanted to include I bought a dedicated scanner that scanned slides as well as prints. It was really worth it. This was a few years ago, but I bought an Epson Perfection V500 flatbed printer. It works great. Besides scanning slides, it allows me to scan a bunch of photos of different sizes at once, basically fill up the flatbed, and (this is the important/timesaving part) save them as separate files. It saves so much time, instead of scanning separately or trying to crop them apart later. You might be able to borrow a scanner or get one used. Or get the family to chip in. They aren't that expensive any more.
But before you start, read the post Scanning Photographs and Slides
on my website.
Step #2 – ORGANIZE THE SCANNED PICTURES. Put everything in neat, orderly digital files. (Hear me laughing. I still have way too many pictures!) Copy all the pictures you think you want to use into a separate file, named "shutterfly book".
Then log onto shutterfly and upload your pictures. Now the fun really begins!
For step by step instructions on using Shutterfly, check out my blog post Making a Family Album with Shutterfly .
Your family will thank you.
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Until next month, stay home, be safe, and remember to wash your hands.