Storing photos

What do you with all your photo prints? I am often asked this.

If you still have many photo prints, and they are stored randomly, the best advice that I can give you is: sort the photos in chronological order, discard the failures, second-class photos and duplicates, and store the best in envelopes, folders, photo wallets or box files, together with sachets of silica gel (these keep the photos dry, and you can often find them in packed goods that you have bought).

You can also prune the collection so severely that they will fit into one album per year. Or you can decide, after sorting, to scan them so that they can be stored in the computer. This takes time and you need a good flat-bed scanner. Or there are commercial companies that will scan photos for you (for example Trigger). In the near future, I will be able to do this for you too.

Perhaps you have also got a number of albums or scrapbooks filled with photos. If you have spent a lot of time sticking photos in and adding captions or written descriptions, these remain enjoyable to look at. If you want nevertheless to scan the photos in these albums, you can scan an album page by page and then digitally ‘cut out’ the individual photos, or you can use a smartphone camera to photograph each photo separately. For example, is an App for iPhone or iPad, or Android device, which scans pages in such a way that individual photos appear separately.

If you have old photo album with self-adhesive pages, it is possible that the photos come out or that they remain hermetically sealed. If you want to get the stuck photos out, it may be possible to loosen them by sliding dental floss slowly under the paper.

The tidying up, organizing and scanning of photos may be a lot of work. Break it down into chunks, and treat it as a task that will bring peace of mind. With the passing of time, you will finally complete the job.