As a lifelong Southern California resident, you always hear a word of warning when a wildfire breaks out and spreads near homes: make sure you have your valuables, including your family photos, safely stored and ready to pack in the car.
If you lived in a neighborhood at risk for fires, then every year during wildfire season you’ve heard the warning to organize and store your photos. The warnings affected homes from where I lived for years in Pasadena all the way east to Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear and other areas in the mountains of San Bernardino County.
We insure so many of our assets like our homes and cars so that they’re replaced or repaired if they get damaged.
How valuable are the pictures in your home?
Preventing Photo Loss
An associate of mine almost lost 47,000 photos of her own—life as a baby, wedding albums, and pictures of the relatives she loved were almost gone due to unforeseen circumstances.
And it’s not just fires that can wreak havoc. How many of you live near a stream or river that floods?
You can have a flood in your home if a pipe breaks.
I’m not here to be the bearer of tragic news, but this is your chance to organize and safeguard your photos and other media so you can have peace of mind.
Here’s another way we lose those precious pics and vibrant vids:
- We lose an envelope of pictures here
- We wonder how to convert an outdated form of media there
Little by little our family pictures and videos get lost. Not only that, but even if you’re staring at a shelf full of slides and videos you may not remember what’s on them.
What about computer storage of photos?
Earlier in the post, I wrote about my friend who nearly lost tens of thousands of photos. Guess where they were stored?
On her computer.
You can store your photos on a computer’s hard drive or an external hard drive, but what if someone breaks into your home and swipes the device?
And external hard drives can get misplaced, grow outdated and even crash—becoming unreadable.
What if you have an iPad that’s not working right and a well-meaning relative or family friend says, “Hey, I’ll fix that for you”?
I’ve heard of that happening—where the iPad gets reformatted and pictures like the first three years of a child’s life are erased into pixelated oblivion.
Protecting Your Family’s History
Your family’s photos, videos and slide shows are a legacy that give your children and grandchildren a glimpse into the way life was—and those photos will give them a sense of belonging and will help strengthen their identity.
That’s where the value of your family’s photos comes in and is truly appreciated. And that becomes your motivation for wanting to preserve them.
That’s why I’ve named my company Safeguard Your Memories.
So, what are best practices for converting old media files and storing them for the future?
Converting to Digital Storage
Think of the many digital storage options for your media:
- Desktop computers
And don’t forget CDs, DVDs and thumb drives.
The digital format makes them accessible and easy to share as well.
But how do you get them into permanent digital storage? There are challenges.
Scanning by Hand Takes Time
There was a time not too long ago that, as a photo coach, I helped my clients scan their pictures. I’m always on the lookout for the best technology to use, so I had an excellent scanner and that worked well until a better solution came to me. I like to help my clients move easily through this process.
You see, time is money.
If you scan images yourself, then you have to give up doing something else.
If you have a company do it, that raises questions about the quality of work involved and trustworthiness—like how do you get your files returned?
Some companies will produce a DVD or USB drive, but sometimes the pictures can’t be extracted. And are the pictures backed up so that you can access them via the cloud?
Now if you back up to Google photos, Dropbox or another other service then read the fine print. They can change the platform on you if their technology changes and the reality is that some services go out of business.
I’d like to talk to you about quality work.
Go out for cheap coffee, buy cheap T-shirts, but don’t buy cheap when it comes to media conversion and storage.
You want quality that lasts a lifetime.
Learn about Safeguarding Your Memories
I’ll be glad to talk to you about what it takes to convert your photos, VHS tapes, slides, and any other media file you may have.
Imagine having a system where your files are converted and stored for a lifetime, plus 100 years.
Ask me about what that means.
I’ve been working as a photo coach for 26 years and I love what I do.
I’ve developed a simple-and-done method of journaling your photos to tell a story.
You can be creative with some of the pictures that you want to display on walls or in scrapbook, but I’m about the story versus the craft and artistry.
I can show you how to get organized and stay on top of your memories from now and into the future.
Contact me at your convenience and let’s set a time to talk briefly about how I may be of help to you.
You can also Like the Safeguard Your Memories Facebook page to get concise photo taking and organizing tips.