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After talking with a relative last night, I got an idea for another blog article; sharing old photos with siblings, or other relatives.  Who doesn’t like to look at old photos?

Old photos There is something fascinating and intriguing about looking at old photos and reminiscing about family members no longer with us, or about moments from our child-hood.  Have you or someone you know inherited those photos from your parents or another family member?  Do you have siblings, cousins or other family members that would like to have a copy, or at least be able to view them?

Before you decide how to share those photos,  you should first gather all your photos in one area; like in one room, or a shelving unit or closet dedicated to photos.  If you have photos or other memorabilia from different family lines, then divide them into separate families.

Now, what can I do with these photos? There are a variety of options available for a variety of situations.

Scan and share copies for family members

Before scanning, decide which photos you want scanned; there’s no need to scan the same 10 copies of Grandma Jones.   Once you decide what to scan; do you want to scan these photos yourself or hire a professional?  By scanning the photos, you have a wide variety of options for sharing.  The more traditional approach is to print, but that can get expensive depending on the number of photos you have.

Another alternative is to save the scanned (digitized) photos onto a thumb-drive or CD to share with others; then the recipients can decide if they want any printed.   To be even more creative, depending how much information you have gathered on the family is to create a photo book.  Include dates and names, stories, and information that you or family members would enjoy.

Share photos on photo sites

There are so many cloud-base services available that specialize in sharing photos.  But PLEASE before you decide on a cloud-base service, read the privacy and terms agreements.  Some sites do not easily relinquish your photos once they are on their website.  While other services may use your photos as they seem fit for marketing purposes; or share with third-party vendors.  Not to scare you though; there are plenty of good sites out there for sharing photos, such as Forever.  Just have an idea of what you want to accomplish with those photos before-hand.

  • Is it to gather information from other family members on dates and persons in the photos?
  • Do you have genealogy information information to share? Or want to tie the photos to a family tree?
  • Do you want to preserve for future generations?
  • What about backup purposes?
  • Do you also want to share videos?
  • Or, is it to simply share the photos?

Store photos in archival-quality boxes or albums

So, you have the photos scanned now; but how are they currently stored?  You could store them in boxes and/or in albums.  I recommend placing unique photos or photos you enjoy reminiscing about most in albums; these are the “A” photos.  Duplicates or photos that are of less value to you could be placed in photo boxes, that are accessed less frequently; these are the “B” photos.  Remember to place the photos in archival-quality albums or boxes to preserve them.

Another idea is to frame and display a few of these special photos.  But if you’re framing the originals, please seek expert advise on the type of glass and matte to use.  Different types of glass will protect the photo from the sun and other elements as well has having archival-quality matte, as this will be directly touching the photograph.  Or, you could have a good copy made of the original to display in a frame, storing the original in an album.

What if you don’t want these old photos?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t want old photos, or maybe you just don’t have the room.  Maybe you have duplicates or no connection to the photos?  Many people feel strongly that no old photo should ever be tossed.  One option is to donate them. Historical societies worldwide often accept photos, especially if you can provide information about how they came to you. It can be a point of pride for small towns across the U.S., Europe and elsewhere to see how far and wide their native sons and daughters have traveled over the course of generations.

Still not sure?

If you’re still unsure about what to do with your photos or don’t have the time, desire or equipment?  Please contact a personal organizer such as myself.  We’ll work out a plan together that fits you and your budget.