When I tell people that I love to teach others how to organize their digital photos and memories, I am often met with something like this,
“I don’t know WHY anyone could take the time to do that without going crazy!”
or something along these lines:
“I will never take the time to tag and keyword images because my system works, I scrap what I need and I know who the people in my photos are.”
I wish I had a time machine to transport you all to another place and time, 100 years in the future. Yet I don’t have the power to do that…
About the closest thing I have is a story – one experience of many that hits a home run in the ballpark of WHY the work we do in our photo libraries today matters.
A few years ago my mother-in-law and I were shopping at an antique store in Central Utah. Closer to the front of the store she spotted an old album that read simply, “Photographs.” On the inside we found several pages of beautiful heritage photos – most likely from the early 1900′s.
The tragedy was that these were orphaned photos – lost from the family they belonged to – in a dusty photo album on some random table in an antique store.
The photos are of very real people – with highly interesting bathing suits – priceless photos I would give anything to have of my great-great-great grandparents in their younger years. Yet they sat in that store, orphaned and anonymous. I wanted to adopt them.
My mother in law bought the photo album as a gift for me. I brought the photos home and have treated them just like I do all my other inherited photos of my family. However, when I look at this album, I feel sad. Sad about the stories never told, the people in these photos I will never know and sad for their great-great-great grandkids who would treasure them and probably will never find them.
Which brings me back to you and I and that trip into the future I would love to take you on. You might think that you know who is in your photos, your kids know who is in your photos and so you are ok.
Quite frankly the people who will find the most value in your photos, your layouts, your right now present moment don’t even exist yet – they are about two to three generations down the line. They are the ones that will wonder about who you are, how you lived and what mattered to you.
The truth is my friend that, just like fine wine, our photos, thoughts and stories gain value as they age over time. Your story, your life, your moments and your memories captured through the lens of your camera matter.
With the valuable tools of digital metadata they become priceless instead of overwhelming. Priceless if you document the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN. Priceless if you use ratings to share your favorites so they know the memories that were most important to you. Priceless if you just take a little bit of time now so they can have those priceless memories later.
We all take classes and buy products to organize our scrapbook rooms, our digital supplies and lots of other things in our lives. Yet we often put our photos lower on the priority list.
So again I take you to that future – three generations down the road – your great grandkids aren’t going to care about your supplies being organized. They won’t even care about your stickers, papers, etc. What they will care about is being able to know more about your photos – why you stopped time with your camera. The stories behind your images. They will want that connection with you and I sincerely hope you give them that gift.
I want you to take a few moments and imagine these orphaned photos were your people. What would it mean to you to have them? How much more would it mean if they came with stories and information?
I hope you’ll find the time to give your posterity the gift of you.
You will also learn the secrets to protecting and preserving your photos for future generations along with how to save time with technology by choosing the right software program for your journey. Register for class here.