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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tips for Tuesdays: Family Historian

Were you ever in a club during your school days? Remember when your club would elect officers and their was always a historian who was supposed to document the comings and goings of the club via pictures and pen? Well, I am my family's historian, and let me tell you, it's a big job.

Digital cameras create these problems. First, they allow us to take way to many pictures. Well actually, taking too many pictures isn't the problem. The problem is that we tend to keep them all. Secondly, digital pictures are stored on our computers, they tend to never get printed, and then end up getting lost when our computers go ca-put. Is this how one spells ca-put?

So here are a few tips on how to manage all these photos.

1. Dump your camera's photos into an editing folder. After looking through the pictures, only move the ones you love to your permanent storage folder. Delete the rest.
2. Put a limit on how many photos you keep of your family every year. For example, I've limited myself to 300 photos each year. Plus, an additional 100 for our summer vacation. When I have a limit, it helps me be decisive when determining what to keep and not keep.
3. Throughout the year, backup your full resolution size images by uploading them to a website like Picasa Web Albums, Zenfolio, or Flickr. Many of these sites are free or at least free for the first couple of gigs. You'll want to pick a site that allows to download it back onto your computer if for some reason it gets lost.
4. At the end of the year, make a CD or DVD of your families permanent storage folder. This give you a double backup plan.
5. Regarding printing, there are a couple things you could do. You could make a digital photo book for your family each year. This could range from between $20-100 or more depending on how many pictures you add to your book etc. You could print the top 20 pictures for each child each year to add to their ongoing photo albums. The thing I like about actually printing 4x6s is that they are fairly resistant and I don't know how resistant photo books are to water, mold, etc. Yes, I said mold. Stephen grew a whole science lab of mold on the scrapbook I made him of his growing up years. The scrapbook got tossed, but the actual pictures survived, amazingly.

Here's my final tip for Tuesday. It's what we did today on D'arcy's fifth birthday. Put the camera down, and just enjoy making memories the old fashioned way.

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