Before you take more vacation photos…

Pretty much everyone has piles of old vacation photos. Some people have them organized in some fashion. Few ever look at them again..

Before you take more this year, have a look at your collection and consider how you use the photos.

Depending on your, um, vintage, you may have them in different formats.

  • If they are slides, they are much more difficult to look at, because you have to find/ set up the projector. Decide which you really like, and have them transferred to a more accessible style: printed or electronic.
  • If they are printed, check that they are stored safely. Honestly, the most popular storage system is an old shoebox. This makes pictures hard to locate and does not protect them from deterioration.
  • 065Albums with peel-and-stick pages may be the worst kind of storage; the glue  becomes much more permanent over time, making it hard to pry the pictures out without damage, and both the glue and the plastic damage the photos.
  • If they are on your camera waiting to be downloaded, or on your computer, they still need backing up and organizing.

While you are watching tv- really, it’s mostly reruns this time of year- how about doing some sorting? Maybe one box or album per night, or per week?

  • Remove the photos from their holders.
  • If there is no record of who/ what they are, write on the back with a photo-safe pen. You think you will remember, but you might not, in a few years.
  • This is your chance to edit pictures you no longer need: duplicates, scenery and sunsets. Which ones do you look at again years later? People and significant events.
  • Decide how you want to organize them. By person (such as an album for each child)? By year?
  • Place printed photos in photo-safe albums, or photo-safe boxes with dividers.
  • If they have names on the back, and are separated by year, that is organized enough for most people; safely stored, and you can find them again.
  • If you are storing them electronically, tag them with people’s names, the place, and the date, and make sure they are backed up somewhere.

Resolve to take fewer, more meaningful photos of the next vacation, and simplify your system by keeping it up as you go.

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