Curating photo albums used to be an art form. Families would develop film rolls at the one-hour photo, select the best ones (pictures that were in focus and had good lighting), and add them to various albums. Even with the rise of digital photography and online folders, many people still have their old photo albums from years past. These can contain hundreds of photos from important events like weddings, graduations, and cross-state moves.
If you – or a relative you care about – still have piles of old photo albums, you might be left wondering what you can do with them. Follow this guide on what to do with old photo albums to save the memories inside, use the photos more often, and display the albums throughout your home.
1. Digitize the Photos Immediately
Before you can even think about what to do with your old photo albums, preserving your old photo albums and displaying your favorite memories, you need to protect the prints – either on your own or with a professional photo and slide scanning service. These might be the only copies of certain photo prints you have, which means you could lose the memories forever if something happens to the albums.
Your images might be subject to general wear from the sun and humidity or an unexpected disaster could rip them from you forever. No one wants to think about this happening, but people lose key family memories each year.
Here’s what you need to do. While you could send entire albums to be digitized by our team at Memory Fortress, you can save money by removing the images individually and shipping them as loose prints. Opting to send loose photos can reduce your shipping costs and the cost of your digitization project on a per-scan basis.
Within a week, you can sort and ship your photos so we can digitize them. We can save your memories in the cloud so you will never lose them. Even if you lose the original prints or your computer is damaged, you will still have these memories.
2. Decide Who Should Keep Your Old Photo Albums
After you complete this project, it’s up to you to decide what to do with the prints and old photo albums. Some people don’t see the need to keep the prints when they have digital copies, so they throw the albums away. However, other people want to hold on to these original pictures.
If you want to hold on to your old photo albums, talk to your relatives to see if anyone wants specific photos or collections. For example, if you have kids, they might want to show these photo memories to your grandchildren. The pictures show what they were like growing up and can better connect your grandkids to their family history. Passing down old photo albums could be a good way to preserve the prints – while still getting them out of your house.
3. Consider Displaying Your Albums
As modern technology changed how we took and looked at photos, countless families across the United States packed up their old photo albums and tucked them away. However, you can create space in your home to display family memories.
For example, place a photo album on your coffee table and switch it out every month. (This is a particularly good idea if your albums are curated by season, so all of your Christmas memories are in one place.) Friends and family members can look through these albums when they visit and talk about the memories inside. By changing the photos regularly, there will always be something new to look at.
You can also display your albums on various tables around your house. Consider setting each book to a specific page (like your favorite picture in your wedding album) throughout the week. One of the best parts of digitizing your memories is that you don’t have to worry about these pictures getting damaged by sunlight. You will always have backup options.
One of the main benefits of digitizing your family memories is that you can share them with the people you love. Take your newly-digitized scans and post them online or email them to your relatives. Some of your loved ones might not have seen these photos (or thought about the events related to them) in several years. You could brighten someone’s day with a cherished memory from a loved one who lives across the country.
Sharing your photos and videos online is a great way to keep your old photo albums alive. These pictures aren’t meant to be forgotten, they are meant to tell stories and share your history. You might be surprised by how many people are moved by the content.
5. Keep The Memories Alive
There are several ways to make old photo albums part of events and activities within your family. For example, if a grandparent is celebrating a notable birthday, bring a few albums and photo prints to the celebration that show the important role they played in the family over the years. Even family dinners can be livened by these memories.
There’s also a place for digital scans at family events. You can put together slideshows of curated images and mix together photos and old videos filled with notable events. You could become the unofficial family historian before you know it.
Start Your Digitization Project With Memory Fortress
One of the worst things you can do is bury old photo albums in your closet and never look at them. These memories tell your life story and the stories of your family members. These events are meant to be relived – especially major celebrations like graduations and births.
Take steps to protect your memories with our digitization services. Along with scanning photos, we also digitize videos, slides, and other analog media. Learn more about our process and how we can help you. Then start your order so we know to expect your old photo albums and loose prints in our office.