Capture now, sort later
While people can have the best intentions when it comes to digitizing their family’s old photos and videos, some of these projects never get off the ground because it can feel like an enormous undertaking. But, it doesn’t have to be.
While it may seem efficient to gather all of your photos from their various locations and then sort through them looking for only the best or most special shots to digitize, you may end up working against yourself.
First, sorting through your collection is time-consuming and can rarely be done in one session. There’s a reason why organizing expert Marie Kondo recommends clearing your sentimental clutter last — it’s too easy to get distracted and end up falling down the rabbit hole. If you have a large collection, places and faces start to blur if you’ve been at it for too long.
If you are the sole family member culling the collection, the decision as to what’s a keeper becomes a subjective exercise. What may seem like an unremarkable picture to one family member may hold special meaning for another. Collaboration becomes a much easier task when an entire collection is digitized and shared amongst family members.
Another issue with culling your collection beforehand is that it’s not always easy to see the full picture. Take old slides or negatives, for example. Squinting at them while holding them up to a light source likely won’t reveal the finer details. There could be something in the background that sparks a memory or holds a greater interest.
As well, if you want to preserve your family’s history for the next generation, you don’t know what may be historically or culturally significant years from now. For example, a snapshot of a family member posing in front of the World Trade Centre takes on a different meaning now as opposed to when the picture was taken.
That’s not to say you should keep every single photo or video you digitize, but it becomes much easier to sort through your entire collection once it’s in the cloud or on a hard drive. Facial recognition software and photo apps can allow us to easily search through a digital collection for a certain person or particular activity or item.
Finally, if you only digitize a small amount of your collection, you’re still left with the issue of physical storage. Do you throw out everything else? If not, the photos and videos you keep around are at risk of fire, theft, water damage, or going missing.
Getting started is often the hardest part of any large project. By capturing everything now, you can take the time to organize it later.
At Memory Labs, we digitize your family’s old photos and videos so they will be preserved for the next generation. Our advanced technology can improve picture quality, so your family’s treasure trove of memories will look their best when they’re shown, shared, and saved for the future.