Each September, The Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO), holds a campaign to teach people how they can preserve and protect their photos in the case of an accident or disaster called Save Your Photos.  A great number of companies that specialize in photo-related items and services sponsor this event and photo organizers all around the United State offer free workshops and seminars to help people learn the basics of organizing their photos.  At Photo Gym we are no exception, our Certified Personal Photo Organizer is holding a free workshop at the local Senior Center on September 18 designed to bring some fun to the process with games and prizes in a come-and-go setting so participants can enjoy the process with friends or family.

For those of you unable to attend a workshop this month, I thought I’d share some ideas for preserving and protecting print and digital photos.

Print Photos

Physical prints are vulnerable to the environment, age and handling.  Some things you can do to help protect them are:

  • Keep them in an environmentally-controlled area of your home or office.  The attic, basement and garage are often not good choices as they can be humid, dusty and may be invaded by pests who think your memories taste delicious.
  • Aging can’t be stopped but you can make sure the stories live on by scanning your slides, negatives and prints to preserve them.
  • Handling is part of the fun of having printed photos.  Our own children poured over their photo boxes their entire childhood, sticky fingers leaving streaks that later erased the memory they once held so dear.  Protect prints by wearing gloves when you hold them, or at least encourage the youngsters to hold them by the edges.  You can also protect them in photo-safe albums.  Pocket albums are a fun, safe, way to enjoy photos and rest easy when the kids want to reminisce.  We life Project Life albums by Becky Higgins.
    • Budget Tip:  Many craft and hobby shops carry Becky Higgins and the clearance section often has a few available at a significant savings.

Digital Photos

Digital photos are at risk for different reasons than those that are printed, often a result of the enormous quantity in a family’s collection!  If you are overwhelmed by the number of photos you have and have lost track of where they are all stored, it’s pretty difficult to think of rounding them all up and preserving them as a single collection.  So they can be easily lost by expired subscriptions, forgotten on sites you no longer visit, deleted with apps you remove from your phone and unintentionally deleted with other files in folders on your computer.  It’s so easy, a simple click of a button and they are simply gone forever.  Here are a few ways you can help ensure you protect the photos you cherish most:

  • The first step has to be to gather them into one place.  Simply copy them into a single folder.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just all in a single location.  We recommend your computer’s hard drive if it is large enough to hold your entire collection.  If not, consider an external hard drive, they are inexpensive and easy to use.
  • Once you have them all in a single location, not only are you less likely to delete them by accident, you can now back them up to an off-site location.  We like, and recommend, Backblaze.  It’s easy and inexpensive and also allows for an unlimited amount of storage for all your photos, videos and other files.  There are many options, it doesn’t matter which you choose as long as you choose one and get it set up to automatically back up you collection.
  • Just having control of your photos and backing them up will help you sleep at night but you will also be more motivated to care for your collection if you can actually enjoy and share the memories and stories so we suggest you consider getting your favorites off your computer and into your everyday life.  There are a plethora of great ideas (Pinterest anyone?) for ways to display photos – and you will be glad you did!

We hope you take some time this month to take a step toward getting your photos fit.  If you need help getting started, email us to Schedule a Personal Training session to find out how to do it yourself or let us do it for you!