When my parents visited Taiwan they found some old photographs at my grandmother’s place. During one of our Facetime dates with A, my father showed me a few pictures of when I was little, some of which I don’t remember seeing before. It got me thinking about today’s technology and how photos can be instantly shared with a click of a button. While the instant gratification is a benefit, it makes me sad to think about losing that experience of uncovering old photographs in a box years or decades later. Additionally, given the rapid pace of innovation, we don’t really know what the longevity of digital photos will be given how storage devices and online photo sharing sites can become obsolete or go out of business.
Perhaps it’s a generational thing, but I have a soft spot for physical photographs. Now that I have a family of my own, I want to leave behind artifacts that can be discovered over and over again by future generations. If you feel the same way, here are ways to preserve your memories in the digital age.
1. Create online and offline albums. From professional photograhy to capturing shots on our DSLR and iPhones, I keep electronic and physical copies. I use a site called Smug Mug and an iCloud album to share our many photos with friends and family. For physical albums, I curate my favorite photos to create coffee table books. I use MyPublisher for my wedding and maternity pictures.
2. Make photo cards and small and large scale prints. I have become a huge fan of photos on heavy card stock paper and online sites like Artifact Uprising and Studio Print make it really easy to create sets of ten or more photos at a time. My photos can now keep up with the pace of A’s growth spurts!
3. Have Practical Keepsakes. Magnets, mugs, stickers and other small trinkets are another clever way to display your favorite photos. The 2×2 sized magnets from Studio Print were perfect to display my shots taken on past vacations.
4. Be redundant. I like being efficient and streamlined, but when it comes to photo storage, I learned that redundancy is a good thing in case your storage device gets damaged. So I have a back-up of my photos on my hard drive and a couple of cloud services – Apple iCloud and Amazon Photos (if you are Prime Member, this comes free with your membership). Of course, if all else fails, using an instant camera is always in style!