Archiving Best Practices

 

Does this sound familiar? “I have photos on a bunch of old CDs, thumb drives, external hard drives, in albums and then there is my Dropbox, Google Photos, and maybe I’ve backed up to iCloud…help, I am overwhelmed!” Before you can start to organize your photos, you have to get them ALL into one place. During week one we will focus on gathering your photos.
Even if you aren’t ready to physically gather them, making a list is a useful first step, and you’ll be more prepared when the time is right to embark on the organizing.
Locate all your photos, slides + videos.
Let’s start with a list of all the places you are storing your printed photos and slides. Include photo albums, framed photos, photos in drawers or boxes or closets, or even storage units. A written list of locations will serve as a checklist when you gather them.
Make a list of all the places you have digital photos. Include old phones, computers, memory cards, and CDs/DVDs. Add usernames and passwords to photo websites where you’ve uploaded pictures.
Home movies should be part of what you’re saving! Make a list of the types you have (Super 8, VHS tapes, camcorder tapes, etc.) so you can make a plan for converting them to digital.
Ask family members!
Get the family involved in tracking down your photos. Ask relatives where their photos are and make a plan to include them in your photo organizing project.
Estimate.
How many photos do you have: 10,000 or 100,000? Knowing the number helps you plan the scope of the project. A shoebox = 600 – 800 photos; 1 GB = about 560 JPGS; the average photo album = 200 photos.
Be selective. Keep only the best of the best!
Are you finding lots of duplicates as you go through your photos? Toss or delete doubles, blurry shots, and most scenery-only photos. Edit your collection down to a manageable size! You may end up getting rid of 50% or more.

Plan for the digitizing process.
You’ve found your photos, but now what? You need a plan. This week, we’ll explore creating a photo legacy by understanding what’s most important to you. What are your photo goals and what would success look like? Then strategize a plan to digitize and back up your photos.
Even if you’re not ready to do the actual organizing, thinking through these decisions about your photo legacy means you’ll be prepared whenever the time is right to start.
Digitize + Back up
The best backup for your printed photos is to scan them by sending them to a trusted local archiving expert. Don’t risk loss, damage or theft of your precious memories by sending them away to a big box online service.

Next Steps
You’ve found your photos, have a plan, and know the stories. Now it’s time to share. The options for printing photos are endless, from framed prints and photo gifts to photo books. Online galleries make it easy to share digitally. Look for ideas to bring your photos back to life by getting them into your everyday life.
Even without starting to organize your whole collection, it’s easy to bring photos back into your life…choose recent favorites from your phone and get creative!
Plan ahead for holiday giving
Get a head start on your gift planning. Digitized family moments is an excellent gift idea for anyone in your family. Surprise family members with a digitized collection of memorabilia!

Creatively Cute Wedding Gifts + Keepsakes

Creatively Cute Wedding Gifts + Keepsakes

Make your day unique and personal!

Photos can make your wedding day more personal and after the event, they can live on for years after! Here are some creative ways to bring photography to your celebration and beyond!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please, please, please – don’t let those gorgeous professional photographs sit on your computer gathering dust. Select a few favorites and get them up on the walls of your home as canvas prints, framed decor or even a gallery wall with multiple shots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, the bride and groom will want a wedding album filled with images and snapshots from the celebration, but professional photo books are also a great gift for parents, grandparents and the wedding party!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trendy personalized gifts are always a favorite at any wedding! Bring us your ideas and we will help you design a special gift for your guests or wedding party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift this adorably cute heart collage to the newly engaged couple. Gather images from their social media and surprise them with the perfect engagement gift.

 

Need help on a project like this?

Join us in the design process while we create the perfect solutions for your day. Choose from hundreds of ideas for gift giving and personal storytelling. Here are just a few…

– Save the Date Cards + Magnets

– Announcements + Thank You Notes

– Guest Book

– Personalized Bridal Party Gifts

– Custom Keepsakes

– Imagery + Reception Décor

– Video Productions + Slideshows

– Prints + Memorabilia (from your wedding day photos)

– Photo Books (for yourself, the bridal party + your parents)

– Home Decor (showcasing your professional photographs)

– Passport Photos (for the honeymoon)

GRAD 2021: Celebrate your Senior!

Graduation is 2021 here! (Well, sort of!)
Even though ceremonies and gatherings may still be limited – there’s no reason to dial back the celebration! Show your support and pride with personalized keepsakes, announcements and décor! Put those wonderful senior portraits on display with a variety of creative products and prints. Here are a few Grad Party Decor Tips that will make your event stand out!
Flashback to when your grad was a baby, starting school and growing up before your eyes. Using photo prints, digital files and video clips, we can produce a show-stopping video montage that guests will love! Plus, this makes a great keepsake when it comes time to pass down her memorabilia.
Create a DIY display table, aka “shrine” to your graduate with certificates, the diploma, photographs, photo books, framed prints and other special keepsakes. Create depth and varying heights for visual interest. Use easels and risers to avoid simply setting everything flat on the table.
Social Selfie Frames are a great way to capture fun snapshots of your guests. Customize your frame with the grad’s name and year or in a design theme of your choice! We promise this will be a hit!
Print images from your grad’s Instagram in 4×4″ squares for easy clipping to branches. Place them in a beautiful vase and use colorful clothespins as a design accent!

If you have an abundance of photos and keepsakes, use open areas of your home or party venue to display things like yearbooks, posters and awards.
Let the grad choose the color scheme if you want to decorate in something other than traditional school colors. This DIY garland is something the grad can make with ease and it adds color and style to your event!

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How to discover the shutterbug inside a six-year-old

How to discover the shutterbug inside a six-year-old.

How to discover the shutterbug inside a six-year-old. Like most grade school aged children, mine own tablets and can swipe my phone faster than a New York City pickpocket. But they rarely use the devices’ cameras. The most recent photo in either child’s camera roll? A series of 38 selfies with a blurry dog-looking thing from over four months ago. Other parents I’ve surveyed tell me this evidence is typical. We assume they haven’t yet developed an interest in photography. When they do, the device with a camera is ready and waiting.

But if you’ve ever handed an actual camera to a kindergartner, for example, you know there’s more to it. And the older the camera, the better. One with a viewfinder and no screen really gets the gears turning. After they realize what it is (and that there are no games on it), the purpose sinks in. They discover a different tool that invokes a whole different curiosity.

Here’s how I spawned the shutterbug inside a six-year-old boy. I’d keep an old digital camera handy and anytime we left the house, I’d set it in the back seat. He couldn’t not pick it up and within a couple weeks he was taking it out of the house of his own accord. Sure, that was usually when his other device was off limits, but I say any interest counts. Sometimes, he’d take 38 pics of the seatback out of boredom. But often he’d take real pictures. And he got better fast. I’d watch as he would stop, compose, capture, and retake until he found an angle he liked. The results were far more thoughtful than anything he’d shot with an iPad. I didn’t try to explain the menu or functions unless he asked so he discovered most on his own and now frequently uses exposure compensation to improve a shot.

Since then, I’ve let him wrangle my DSLR, complete with a gigantic vertical grip attached. It’s obviously cumbersome but he knows what he’s doing and, more importantly, why he’s doing it. The pictures he takes are important to him and although most are viewed on his device and shared between family, a select few have found fame on his older brother’s blog. I think we’ll venture into printing soon.

I’m not surprised that he’s become a pretty good photographer. I’m surprised that maybe he already was. Sometimes all it takes is the right tool.

Fb/Insta

How to discover the shutterbug inside a six-year-old.

#kidsneedcameras #youngphotog #camerakiddo

Five Ways To Fauxlaroid

Five Ways To Fauxlaroid

Five Ways To Fauxlaroid

Mine was a Polaroid® One-Step. A black plastic behemoth with a shutter button the size of my whole thumb. And that was the smallest part. Things were big in the ‘90s but this whole thing was obtuse compared to the refined 35mm cameras it sat next to. And while 35mm counterparts were capturing sleek, wide images with a 3:2 ratio that could yield beautiful color prints of all sizes, this thing would spit out one squarish frame of mud. But then came the magic. The print would develop in my hand. Checkmate. That’s how Polaroid cemented itself in our hearts as instantly as it captured each emotion. For all the science behind the technology, it was the magic that we’d come to love.

If you didn’t go for Polaroid back in the day, don’t worry. You can rediscover the format or recreate the iconic look easily.

First, there’s The Impossible Project, a movement to resurrect the Polaroid film factory and sell refurbished Polaroid cameras to an enamored following. You can buy Impossible® film and cameras manufactured to near-original specs right now.

There’s also a new original Polaroid from Polaroid Originals® (these company names are uncanny). The OneStep2® is a slightly more compact, an updated version of the iconic OneStep that still uses the familiar 600-type film. No frills, all retro.

And, while not Polaroids by design, the Fujifilm® Instax® line has successfully cornered the instant market since its introduction a decade ago. There are original, square, and mini formats, a complete line of cameras, and an instant printer to liberate images from your device.

Speaking of devices, did you know there’s a Polaroid smartphone? It doesn’t make polaroid pictures so we won’t get into it. But for any device, there is, of course, an app for that. The Polaroid® Instant Mobile App lets you snap or import a pic and apply the timeless Polaroid format complete with captions scribbled on the border. Available for Android, iOS, and Mac. Unlike actual Polaroids, you can share as many copies as you’d like.

https://www.polaroid.com/products/shakeitphoto-mobile-app

Of course, for the trillions upon trillions of digital images captured via other means that will never know the familiar frame of the beloved Polaroid, we call upon the magic of Photoshop. Easy as:

  1. Open image
  2. Crop to 3×3”
  3. Resize canvas to 3.5×3.5” (center).
  4. Resize canvas again to 3.5×4” (add to bottom).

Actual dimensions, for you purists: https://support.polaroidoriginals.com/hc/en-us/articles/115012363647-Polaroid-Originals-photo-dimensions

A batch action for, for you power users, (credit: Maximilian Janicke via Deviant Art): https://rawimage.deviantart.com/art/Polaroid-GENERATOR-V2-118854065

Finally, for the absolute easiest way to fauxlaroid any image, order polaroid-style prints from any device online or in-store with us! That’s right, any selfie or mobile snapshot can be output with the same iconic white border just like the real thing.

#instantlove #instantstyle #polaroid #fauxlaroid

why metadata matters for preserving old family photos

Why Metadata Matters for Preserving Old Family Photos

Why Metadata Matters for Preserving Old Family Photos

Have you ever discovered a loved one’s handwritten notes on the back of an old photo? My grandmother often noted her memories, in beautiful script, on the back of black-and-white snapshots. Although she didn’t know it when she was writing, she was creating metadata about our family pictures. Metadata is one of those technical terms you may hear people talk about from time to time. It’s just a fancy word for memories. And just like your grandmother’s notes on the back of old photos, metadata is how your grandchildren will learn about you and your legacy. Even though it may sound like technical jargon, metadata is actually super simple and key to preserving family history. Let’s dive in and learn why metadata matters for preserving old family photos.

So, what is metadata anyway?

Metadata is data about data. In this case, the data is simply describing photographs. Metadata provides key information about the photos, which is useful because it adds context and backstory. Metadata also makes finding photos faster, even years down the road when most of the people depicted in the photos are no longer living.

If you carefully add metadata to your photos now, future generations will be able to locate and enjoy photos. Metadata makes your pictures searchable. No more sifting through folders, hard drives and emails when you’re in a rush to find a photo to send to a family member! When it comes to search and rescue, metadata is like the lifeboat of family history! Without it, your family photos may become anonymous artifacts.

 How do I add metadata to my family photos?

After you’ve digitized (scanned) your family photos, you can begin adding metadata to the digital files. Remember, scanning doesn’t actually archive information about your photo. Have you scanned dozens of family pictures, but never actually attached any information to the files? Don’t worry, lots of people make this mistake. The good news is, this is an easy-fix! You just need to add some basic info to your photos. That info is called metadata. The metadata you add will be embedded in the JPEG or TIFF file, so the information actually sticks with the photos!

Peter Krogh, the leading authority on digital asset management for pro photographers, says it’s easier to think of metadata as tags. Many of us are already familiar with tags; we use them daily on social media. They’re manageable, logical and extremely powerful.

There are specific standards for image metadata, which have been developed by news organizations over the last 25 years. This standard is called IPTC. It defines a series of text-based fields that standardize the way different aspects of a photo are described. While there are many fields in the IPTC standard, family historians only need to focus on three:

1) Headline: a short phrase that describes the photo. For example, “Ed and Joe fish at Grandaddy’s Farm” would be a great headline for a family photo.

2) Caption (description): This is a sentence or short paragraph describing the photo. The Associated Press has a specific format for writing captions so that basic information is answered about every photo. While you don’t have to write captions to a strict standard, it’s smart to add as much info as you possible into the caption so details are preserved. As you’re writing captions, think like a reporter. Your caption should answer these basic questions, “Who? What? When? Where? Why? And How?” For example, you should include first and last names of people pictured, what they are doing, a date or approximate date, location, the reason for what they are doing.

3) Keywords: These are like breadcrumbs; they enable searchers to find photos faster. Keywords are words or short phrases that describe the photo. Think of what you would type into Google to find the photo. These are the keywords you should apply. You can use names of people pictured as keywords, locations, activities pictured, events, and other descriptors. It’s also good to standardize a list of keywords to apply to photos so you use the exact same terms to refer to the same concept in different photos. This is called a controlled vocabulary, which sounds like jargon, but is just a way for you to be consistent when describing photographs.

An easy way to add these vital pieces of information to photos is by right-clicking on its thumbnail. But if you’d like to take it a step farther and archive your photos like a pro, you should consider investing in some software that will make metadata a breeze! For my own family archives, I rely on Photomechanic for adding metadata to photos. Here’s a helpful screenshot of the metadata fields within Photomechanic. With a few fast tutorials, you’ll be a whiz at adding metadata to your photos.

Tip for mobile device photos: The simplest way to use PhotoMechanic to manage the library of images you create with mobile devices is to utilize Google Photos’ cloud-based storage service. Google Photos will synchronize the photos from your phones and tablets via mobile apps you install on your Android or Apple devices, and then use a sync app you can download for your computer. By synchronizing mobile photos up to Google Photos, and then down to your computer, you will have the files locally and can add metadata using Photo Mechanic.

Unless you add metadata to your image files (whether they are from your iPhone or scanned from an original print), you don’t have permanent information attached to your photos. And that’s tragic for future generations who want to get to know their ancestors! So take steps now to add as much metadata to your family photos as you can. After all, future generations of loved ones will get to know you through the information you add now.