This article is a guest post by Wendy Dessler. Wendy is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.
Old photos are both a family treasure and a huge responsibility. While on one hand, they give us a glimpse into the lives of our elders, on the other we really don’t know what to do with them. In an age where physical documents are going extinct even at the workplace, what are we even supposed to do with heaps upon heaps of family records? Too precious to let go, yet too hard to hold on to?
Well, don’t worry. You’re not the only one with this problem, and many people have come up with creative and practical solutions. Scanning them is always an option, even though that doesn’t quite sound as special as holding on to the original now, does it?
Keep reading for some great ideas on how to store, organize, and look after those prized family records.
Know Where You Came From
Many of your photos lay helter-skelter right now, but let this be your sign not to keep it that way for much longer. If you’ve ever wondered about your family tree, now is your chance to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
Figure out your genealogy, organize photos based on who married who, build a whole family tree, and let it help you understand your family better. Maybe you can even figure out the answer to the question you keep asking yourself - ‘why do I look so bad in selfies?’ If you look a lot like one of your ancestors, you know who to blame! Jokes apart, know that there’s nothing wrong with looking a certain way, and that beauty is subjective. No one is perfect, and chances are that you just need to work on your posing and your angels - your face is most likely not the reason your photos don’t come up the way you want them to!
Be warned though! If the photos are old, you’ll have to be very careful with their handling. Wear gloves when you touch them or pick them up, and try not to move them around too much. Old photos are very valuable and need to be treated with the utmost care.
Make a Scrapbook
If you have a lot of photos that don’t make enough sense to organize any other way - or not enough information - go the aesthetic route. You can probably guess by the photos how old they are, or which ones were taken around the same time.
Using those guesses as a guide, you can make a scrapbook. This way, you’ll even get away with only labeling and naming what you do recognize - as long as you keep the unlabelled parts pretty!
Design A Wall
If you’re looking for decor ideas, or if you want to add a bit of your family history to your living space, you can opt out of the scrapbook idea and build a photo wall instead! It’s not that hard. All you have to do is pick a theme, and stick to it.
If you want to go all-out on this project, you can pick a certain wall and paint it a different color than the rest of the room. Then you can pick different kinds of frames (or many of the same one) to have all your family memories fixed into. Hang these photos up however you like. It’s better than leaving them to collect dirt in the attic!
You can pick anything from a fun, colorful theme to rich velvets and play with texture. For interior design and creative projects, the only limit is your imagination!
Recycle Your Negatives
We often don’t know what to do with photo negatives, but you can just recycle them. Cut them up and use them as decorations in gift wrapping, or DIY your own picture frames with the negatives passed around the edges.
You can include them in parrots of your scrapbook, or even use them as inspiration for your art.
Editor's note: You can also digitize them with Filmbox by Photomyne. Click here to read more.
Make a Guide
Making your kids understand the richness of your family history or appreciating where you came from can be hard, if not impossible. Most times, they don’t even have the patience to sit and listen to you talk! If that’s the case, maybe you can help them get into all this in their own time. You can do this by making guides for them to flip through. Not just photo albums over photo albums filled with all the photos you have at hand, but a more condensed and meaningful collection that includes details about who is in the photos and what’s happening.
Along with the photos themselves, this guide, too, can become a prized family possession!