What should I do with all my family photos?

Dec 1, 2020

In this blog I will help you to deal with all those hundreds of family photos. Nowadays everything is digital, including our photos. They easily get forgotten on a hard drive, on your phone or tucked away in the cloud. And because they are out of sight and forgotten, they become too many and too difficult to manage.

Photos capture our most memorable moments in life. It’s such a shame that most of them don’t make their way into our lives and our homes, on walls, bookshelves, or coffee tables. I believe having pictures of your family and other loved ones around the house provides a sense of belonging and well-being not only for ourselves, but also our children. This is a sentiment shared by David Krauss, an American psychologist, in his study called “Phototherapy in Mental Health”, he writes: “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit.” This I believe is the case for all type of family units, not just in the traditional sense of the word. As a child I loved going through the family albums, especially due to having lost my dad at a young age. It showed me that he loved me and showed me a bit of his personality. Seeing the pictures on our walls made me feel at home and gave me a sense that I was cherished.

So, after making clear how important it is to print your pictures. I will now help you organize those thousands of digital images on your devices and give you some ideas to get them printed.

Family photograph of an outing to in Bromley to be kept safe and printed.

1. Reduce your digital photos

Reducing the amount of photos you have is an essential part of organizing them. Now that we shoot digital and always have access to a camera, we take much more pictures than when we used to shoot analogue. So, the amount of photos we have cane be overwhelming and can stop us from creating those family albums. So, when you narrow down your picture, you will be left with the best ones. To help you start deleting all the photos that are cluttering your phone or hard drive you can start with removing the following:

– all the unnecessary saved screenshots (I am guilty of this and take hundreds of screenshots of recipes or inspirational quotes)
– blurry and overexposed photos
– the mistakes (I so often have made a picture with my phone without even knowing. Or our children will take random shot with it)
– images that are unflattering (don’t be too harsh on yourself. Make sure you keep lots of pictures with yourself in there. You’ll love them down the line).
– duplicates and shots that are very similar to other ones.

Family photograph taken by a Bromley photographer during a family outing to be cherished in a photo album.

2. Pick your favourite family photos

After removing all the pictures, you do not want to keep, it is a good idea to also choose about 40-50 favourites from each year. Put these in a separate folder on your phone or hard drive. This way it will be easy to create a photo album for every year, or print single photos for around the house.

When choosing your favourite pictures, look out for special occasions like birthdays, first day of school, or a family outing, but do not forget your beautiful everyday either. It is really nice to also include people who are important to the family or the children. Like best friends, aunts and uncles, grandparents and other loved ones. Make sure to include the photos that cause an emotional reaction in you. Or pictures that display emotions (anger for not having another ice-cream, a huge warm hug etc). And last but not least, do make sure you are in the pictures as well! Often one parent is usually behind the camera or perhaps they don’t like seeing themselves in pictures. Make an effort to be in the photograph and put negative feelings aside. And if you find it really hard to choose images of yourself then you can always ask your partner, friend or loved one for help in choosing them for you. You are beautiful and need to be part of these prints and albums.

Family photograph of a little child looking at a sheep to be printed on giclee paper.

3. Keep your family photographs safe

Put all photos in folders by year. And within the yearly folders you can create other folders by month. And within these you can create folders by special occasions. Make sure that how you name the folders will make sense to you, so you can easily find the pictures you are looking for. Once everything is organised, it is important to back it up. I have a rule of at least two separate storage places. So, for example, on a cloud and a hard drive, because if one stops working (and trust me, that does happen), you still have all your important family memories stored in another place.

A portrait of a small child looking into the camera during a family photography session in Bromley.

4. Tips on where to print your family photos

As your photographer I have access to the best printing facilities. I use giclee printing on beautiful paper with pigment based inks, creating keepsakes for you of archival quality. I can advise you and help you choose wall art or albums you will love over generations to come. All my packages come with prints. I truly believe it is so important to hang your photos in your home! And you can always order extra prints or a bespoke family photo album.

However, the most important thing to me is that you will print your images. So that you will actually enjoy them and make the most out of your photoshoot and memories. So even if you do not use me to get them printed, I will still encourage you to find other alternatives. I use Etsy to source fun photo products that also make great gifts. You can find lovely photo magnets, printed tiles, photo mugs and personalised puzzles. I advise against using high street shops for printing your photos or albums, as their quality in my opinion isn’t good enough. One company I like is Rosemood Atelier for their photo albums, prints and stationery. But if you want something very convenient then you can use Chatbooks. With this company you can easily create photo albums or prints directly from your social media accounts or computer. Many mums post their favourite pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Using Chatbooks to create albums can save you lots of time of going through pictures to choose your favourites.

So, print your pictures for yourself, your children and even their children. And remember that it can also make great gifts to the grandparents or your other half.

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