We spend all this time trying to get the perfect picture, but if we can’t hold onto it forever, what’s actually the point? There’s something so amazing about tangible photographs, but they’re not always the most practical in terms of keeping them pristine for years to come. We all love keeping our photos on your phones, but scrolling through your camera roll doesn’t quite have the ~je ne sais quoi~ of a photo album.
Family photos have been an important part of my life since childhood. As a scrapbooker and amateur photographer, my mom took about a thousand photos at every event. We have entire scrapbooks dedicated to family vacations and every year of my life until 12th grade. We’ve got about a hundred adorable photos from my early childhood, but also equally as many from my most awkward, wannabe emo middle school days. Oh, joy!
The older I get, the more I want digital copies of all those family photos and adorable baby pictures to share with friends and cherish forever (so cheesy, but that’s how it is!). Especially now that it’s the holiday season, I want to remember the times I’ve had with family members and friends from years ago.
Enter the KODAK Digitizing Box — proof that you can digitize your memories a) without paying a fortune, b) keeping everything organized, and c) making sure your family can relive the moments for years to come. It is the easiest way to archive your family’s media because you send everything in one place.
Order your box, fill it with your VHS tapes, films, audio recordings, and photos (they accept up to 19 different types of media), and you’re pretty much good to go. It’s that easy! It also includes step-by-step instructions, a pre-paid shipping label back, and tracking so you know exactly where your media is every step of the way.
This also makes an amazing gift for family members. Parents, in-laws, grandparents — they’ll be so grateful to have a way to see all those amazing home videos and pictures. Feel free to add a couple of your best selfies to remind them you’re their favorite.
Why should you digitize your family photos?
As much as I cherish my mom’s 70 or so scrapbooks from over the years (seriously — there’s about that many!), I’m not able to look at those memories when I’m in Chicago and not at home with my parents.
Digitizing your photos also makes certain that they stay in great condition. Even in the sturdiest of photo albums, your photos can get a little wear and tear throughout the years. Moving from home to home, changing out the covers or boxes you put them in, and just sitting for a long time can change the quality of your photos.
Imagine in generations when your great-great-great-grandaughter can laugh at all those photos of you going to Jonas Brothers and One Direction concerts at 14?! Keeping digital collections of your photographs and home videos makes sure your family will remember you (and all your phases) for years to come.
Gather all the home videos in one place
After my grandfather passed away last spring, my family members compiled all of their home videos from when he was young. We had super8 footage, VHS tapes, and more. We ultimately transferred all of these to a CD to give to my grandma and other family members. Not only was it a great gift, but it made sure that we’ll always have copies of this videos.
What’s the best way to organize your photos?
When it comes to organizing your photos, naming them is absolutely key. Don’t keep the name filled with 20 different numbers and symbols that your computer automatically gives you — stick to a uniformed naming system that you keep consistent throughout all of your photos. Storing your photos online also allows you to tag key words by person or event — that way, you’ll be able to find that picture of your grandma from her birthday party 10 years ago without needing to spend hours searching.
A great way to organize your photos is to section them by year. You can choose to subcategorize them by the person in the photo or the event — so if you have 200 pictures of your dog from last year (ah, wouldn’t it be nice if it were only 200?), you will go to 2017, then to the section labeled by your dog’s name.
Where should you store them?
Along with digitizing your pics, it can be a serious pain to organize them all onto your computer. That “storage full” notification on your phone is beyond annoying, and organizing into folders on your computer all to have to back them up in another way is stressful.
One of the reasons we love Kodak’s Digitizing Box is because you have the ability to add on thumb drives, DVDs, or digital download – so you’ll have extra copies no matter what method you (or your family members) prefer.
If you’re considering a flash drive or CD
One easy way to store photos and videos is on a flash drive or a CD. I prefer a flash drive because some computers don’t have a disc drive anymore. If you want a tangible way to hold onto your media, then these options are for you, but know that these methods could fail, be damaged, or lost so it’s always a good idea to have a backup.
If you’re considering the cloud
Storing your memories on a photo streaming system in the sky is an incredibly practical way to save all of your photos. The cost can vary from $2 – to upwards of $20 per month depending on the storage size you need and provider. Within this storage system, you can separate everything into folders. I prefer to separate by date and then by event. I have a folder for all of 2018, and then by month, and then by event. This allows me to find exactly the photos I’m looking for when I need them.
Many of these systems have automatic facial recognition as well, so it makes it easier to search for friends or relatives.
If you’re considering photo albums
If you’re an old fashioned gal and want your photos printed, putting them in a scrapbook or a photo album might be the way to go. This is a great way to display a lot of photos from a wedding, a birth, or a big life event. Forget the plastic sheet photo books of your childhood and opt for a custom printed book of specific memories. There are even services that will print directly from your social media to make it as easy as possible for you.
Even if you’re organizing your photos through albums, we still recommend keeping them digitally in some way!
This post was in partnership with KODAK, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.