How Storing Photos Online Connected a Family Across Continents

Old family photo with men in suits and ties, women in nice dresses
Margarita’s mother’s family photo from Colombia


Melody Whitehead
Melody Whitehead, Safeguard Your Memories


Once a month, I’m having my friends share their experience storing photos online in a storage system they own and that’s guaranteed for a lifetime, plus 100 years.

The above photo is from Margarita Buitrago, who I’ve known for almost 20 years. The picture is saved and will be accessible for generations to come.

Read on to find out how.

Margarita and I initially met over scrapbooking. Her experience with scrapbooks is something most of us can relate to.

It’s fun to see photos artistically arranged, right? But creating them to store photos and share is inefficient.

For a busy, professional woman like Margarita, scrapbooking was pleasant for organizing a small set of photos, but creating more than two or three books was a lot of work—and how many of us have that kind of time?

I was glad we came across each other when she moved to Pasadena, where I was living at the time.

I’ve asked her to share how she:

  • organizes her photos in an online digital album
  • sees the benefits of online storage
  • helps others with their photo organizing needs

So, Margarita, how did you move beyond scrapbooking?

Woman looking at camera, wearing blue white striped shirt
Margarita Buitrago, photo coach


“Keeping pictures in a permanent place became important to me and I saw the shortcomings of scrapbooks in that area.

A turning point came when my mother passed away and my father handed me piles and piles of family photos.”




Sharing Photos from California to Colombia

Melody Whitehead
Melody Whitehead, Safeguard Your Memories

Margarita told me how her parents grew up in Colombia and then moved to New York before ultimately settling in California. She has a large extended family so sharing printed pictures was tough. Copying them would be time-consuming and expensive.

I’ve been a photo coach for 26 years and I’ve always been on the lookout for the best, possible solutions so my company name, Safeguard Your Memories, lives up to its promise. Our pictures really are priceless to us and our wellbeing.

That’s why I was excited several years go when I found an online storage system that’s guaranteed for a lifetime, plus 100 years called FOREVER.

Margarita, please tell us how you use FOREVER.


Woman looking at camera, wearing blue white striped shirt
Margarita Buitrago


“This is why I also became a photo coach. The system allows me to share pictures with cousins and other relatives no matter where they live, as long as they have an Internet connection.

“I designate them as family and friends within my FOREVER account, and then they’re able to copy any pictures they want into their account and vice versa. We have one place where everyone can go to see the family pictures.

“I’ve really seen the value of guaranteed online photo storage.”



Researching Family History

“My relatives can access our photos whether they’re in California, Canada, Colombia or anywhere else they’ve branched out. But there’s another benefit—researching family history.

“My aunt, my mother’s sister, is still living. So I send her pictures through the FOREVER online storage and ask ‘who’s in this picture?’ ‘When was it taken?’ ‘What’s the time period?’ I’ll share with my cousins as well, including one who recently moved to California. It’s a project that has helped connect our different family members.

“My cousin commented, ‘Wow, you have more pictures than we do.’ The reason is that in the days of printing rolls of film, my mother would print pictures and send them to her sister. Developing film was expensive so people didn’t get multiple copies.

“My father told me that my mother would choose what she decided were the best pictures and send those. I have photos my cousins have never seen.

“Now, what about my dad?

“Unfortunately, my father had very few pictures of his younger years because his father died young and the family had little money. There are no candid shots. Getting a picture taken, like my father’s family portrait here, was expensive and a special occasion.

Old family portrait from Colombia
A portrait of Mr. Buitrago and his family in Colombia in decades past.


“Here’s a problem. Because pictures were so few, how do I find out more about my family’s history?

“FOREVER also has a family history research service. In Colombia, the churches hold a lot of records such as for weddings and baptisms. Someone has to go to the church and get the archives. Searching the family history will help me tighten up the details of the photos.”

Converting Old Media to Digital Files

“Another service FOREVER offers is converting old media to digital files.”

“Most people have a lot of pictures, slide shows, old home movies buried around their homes. Not many people have slide projectors or film projectors. Even VHS tapes are more recent, but they’re out of date and how many families still have VHS players?

“I find it a joy to help people learn how to easily convert those memories. I helped a friend send  film reels that dated back to 1941 to FOREVER’s Digitization Center. After they were digitized, she texted me one night, ‘oh, I’m here crying, seeing my mother as a teenager.’”

“Another feature is being able to design and print using the stored photos–unique ways to share lasting memories with family and friends and meaningful gift ideas for the holidays.”

The Need for an Online Storage System

“I’ve realized that technology is always deteriorating, meaning what’s usable today will become obsolete in the next several years or decade.

“Even widely used technology like flash drives aren’t meant to be used for long-term storage.

“None of us are immune from other occurrences like natural disasters, fires, or even burst pipes that can ruin our physical property and possessions. Safe, online digital storage that you own will bring peace of mind. It’s permanent.

“Another reason I care deeply about permanent storage of photos is because I’m a financial professional. Our pictures are assets.

I let families know that their memories are valuables that their heirs can inherit.

Storing them online in a home that’s guaranteed for a lifetime, plus 100 years, makes them easy and efficient to pass along from one generation to another.”

Get in touch with Margarita to learn more about organizing and storing your memories.

Woman looking at camera, wearing blue white striped shirt
Margarita Buitrago, photo coach


Forever link:


Ph: (626)376-3987











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