by | January 2014 | è BELLA MAGAZINE | 0 comments

When working with clients, I’m always surprised by the surfeit of photographs, negatives, film canisters and undeveloped film cartridges they’ve been holding onto in anticipation of doing something “once the kids are gone.”

There’re no two ways about it, if you want to get on with your life, you have to stop procrastinating and (excuse the cliché), just do it!

The “qualifying” process is easy. If you or anyone you like looks bad in a photograph, toss it! If your “ex” is in the photo, toss it or if you must, send the photo(s) to him or her. If you don’t know who someone is or if you’re no longer on speaking terms with the person, toss it! If the photo is great, but someone’s derriere is looming the background, toss it! Duplicates, triplicates and over sized photos are destined for the “toss” bin.

Scanning: One of the easiest and safest ways to save an excessive number of photos, negatives and/or slides is to use a professional scanning service. Once you’ve sorted through the photos, select a company online and follow the directions. When you receive the final DVD of scanned photos, you’ll be able to view/edit the photos on your home computer. Some companies give you the option of grouping the photos by year and/or event, others won’t. (Prices vary depending upon quantity and service.) If you chose to scan the photos yourself – an interminable project at best – be prepared to go crazy! Most companies will return the photographs to you, at which time I suggest pulling no more than 10 favorites to “save for prosperity,” and disposing of the rest.

Scrapbooks & photo albums: Scrapbooks? Are you kidding me? Instead of spending hours making a traditional scrapbook or photo album, which, by the way, will probably end up in the “to-do-when-the-kids-are-grown” pile, why not try your hand at making a 12-month calendar or a hardback photo album online? You can also create a “flipbook” to share online with friends and family.

Frames & Gallery Walls: Aside from the ubiquitous frame-on-a-tabletop method, I encourage my clients to create a “gallery wall.” It’s easy: Pick a wall, pick a frame style and then pick your favorite photos. Some people prefer matching frames. Some people prefer using only black & white photos or only color shots; some prefer a combination of both. Either way, displaying your photos on a gallery wall is a great solution.

Image memories: While some people, including myself, suggest moving photos onto their electronic devices, one company, Artifact Uprising encourages people to move them “Off your device” and “into your life.” While I’m not a proponent of having more “stuff” lying around collecting dust, I have to admit I liked the minimalistic, clean and eco-friendly aspects of this company’s product line, such as the postcard pack, wood-block prints and wooden boxes. Another Internet-based company, MailPix, puts your images on anything from aprons, cutting boards and placemats to growth charts, mugs, mouse pads, iPhone/iPad cases and fleece blankets. Just be careful not to get too carried away.

Digital: Obviously my favorite! Whenever I return from a trip, the first thing I do is upload all the photos from my iPhone onto my laptop. Next I judiciously cut the number of photos in half and then half again. Afterward, I post a well-edited album (25 photos max) on my Facebook page. If you choose to go digital, remember to always back-up your files, especially those “memories” you don’t want to loose.

Personally, I believe it’s better to be safe than sorry and suggest backing up your data three times: first save it on your computer’s hard drive, then save it in “the cloud,” and then also to an external hard drive. It seems redundant, but if you’ve ever had your computer crash, you know where I’m coming from!