Why it is Important to Store your Photos Digitally
5 min read
My mom has a box of photos up in her closet. You know the one, full of sepia-toned and black and white photos, some with captions and others featuring people I don’t even know.
I also have a box of photos, although back then I occasionally organized them by year and activity. I also have a stack of old albums with those sticky pages that are quickly losing their “sticki-ness.”
We have photos in frames, quickly fading and crinkling at the corners, tucked away in a back closet and no longer hanging on the wall.
These precious memories deserve better! Wouldn’t it be great to have mom’s photos catalogued and saved, storing her memories and helping me understand her past? And what about my own pictures, stuck on a shelf in the basement and rarely opened and enjoyed?
There are too many things that can happen to those photographs, our precious windows to the past. It’s time to think about ensuring they are protected forever.
If you’re doubtful about getting rid of your shoe boxes and albums, let’s look at why it is important to store your photos digitally.
1. Avoid Natural Disasters
The last thing people that were caught in the floods or forest fires in British Columbia worried about last summer and fall was saving the contents of their homes. Personal safety was the immediate priority.
But these types of disasters highlight how fragile our belongings really are, and our personal memories are among our most valuable assets. Whether your albums are in the basement - where even a heavy rainfall can wreak havoc with leaks that cause damage - or high on a closet shelf, your photos are not secure where mother nature is concerned. Save photos from natural disasters by having them saved digitally.
2. Prevent Deterioration in Quality
Left on their own, photos of any age will begin to deteriorate. If they’re thrown in a box, they can get scratched and folded. Even in a frame, pictures will fade over time. Rather than risk deterioration and fading, keep them safe and protected forever.
3. Less Clutter
Researchers have reported that “when our surroundings feel full, it can also make us feel more anxious and stressed,” and yet “things that are tied to emotionally significant memories can nevertheless represent a piece of your identity that is difficult to discard.”
If I figured out how to store photographs digitally, I could remove clutter without the bad feelings of discarding something important. I could free up shelves and closet space now used to store old photographs, while still ensuring that I don't lose important memories contained in those piles.
4. Better Organization
Whether it’s photo albums or boxes, it can be difficult to manage photographs and memory albums when they are in a paper version. When they’re digital, you can organize them by years or decades, by major events, or by parent, child or other individuals.
One, they are digitized and organized, you can do a search to find the photo you need. You can also create special “story books” from your old photos, building a digital time capsule that can be shared with family members, on social media, or simply enjoyed on your own.
Depending on the service you use to digitize your photos, you can also add context by including captions. You won’t be left wondering what grade you were in when that photograph was taken, and you’ll be able to identify your great aunt, even if you never met her.
5. More Enjoyment
When was the last time I actually dug out those albums and flipped through the pages? Once they’re digitized, it’s easier to look at them, or screencast them to a TV in place of family movie night.
You can even re-print copies of your favourite photos and put them back in a frame. My mom does enjoy a print copy of a photo to show to friends, so her favourites can still be printed and shared. After all, photographs play an important role in everyone’s life. Pictures connect us to our past and help us when it comes to remembering special people, places and stories.
6. Ability to Share
With digital storage, it’s easier to share those special photographs with others. Put that picture from Christmas 1972 on Facebook as your profile photo, or make a mug for dad using an old photo of you sitting on his knee.
7. Integrate with your Current Photo Library
If you’re wondering how photo conversions relate to the modern age, the best way is by allowing you to have one system for all your photos, past and present. The vast majority of us now use smartphones to snap pictures, even if we also use a digital camera. By digitizing old photos, you can have one method of saving all your photographs, whether they’re from your parents, your childhood, or your new baby.
This online tool that makes it easy to save special memories has now introduced the ability to convert your old photos. You simply send your photos to them, they digitize them, and return all the originals. Your digital photos are converted into a memoryKPR digital photo album, providing you with an easy link for sharing, downloading, viewing and permanent storage and protection.
Saving your life’s stories is worth the time and investment of digitizing photos, so you can store photographs safely for your parents, other seniors in your life, yourself, and for your children and future generations.
Ardith Stephanson is a freelance writer and journalist who shares some of her own stories at theardizan.com