Let's talk about photo archives

So, if you read my last blog post, I discussed organizing your digital photos. All of that is well and good, especially if you have done it on your computer's hard drive, an external hard drive, a cloud-based system, or a few/all of these. Keeping your digital images organized and within reach is as helpful as it is important. After all, what is the use of keeping them if you never go looking for them, or can't find them?

Many, many, many of us have digital images OUTSIDE of our computer or the cloud. You know what I'm talking about, especially if you had any photo sessions taken by a professional photographer in the early aughts (think 2000-2016ish times)... I know I did. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the DVD or flash drive (also called a memory stick, jump drive, USB drive, or thumb drive). Those things were super popular ways for photographers to give their clients the digital images from their photo session in a pretty box with a bow on it. It was super popular. But, guess what? Sadly, a lot of people never took their photos off of those things; meaning, they live on that DVD or flash drive ONLY. People never actually downloaded them onto their computer or into the cloud. You may ask why that is a problem, and I will tell you it could be a very big problem. Those flash drives are cheap and are not meant for long term storage. Your computer many need a dongle to even run a USB plug. Many laptop computers no longer have a disk drive to read a DVD. Not to mention those DVDs and flash drives may have ended up in the back of the junk drawer or tossed out when doing some spring cleaning. You took the time to plan and schedule the photo shoot, get everyone dressed up (especially if this photo shoot we are talking about is an engagement session, family photos or even a wedding) and paid good money for that photo session and those digital images.

Why am I writing about all of this, and going down memory lane? Flash drives fail. DVDs get scratched and may not run well on your computer (if you still have a disk drive). Get those images off of the flash drive and/or DVD and at least get them onto your computer or on an external hard drive and a cloud based storage area. Best yet, though? Get those images into a photo album. Share them! Show them off!

Digital photos can be made into wonderful photo albums. I absolutely LOVE making them. Like, I freaking adore creating them! I've made so many of them for myself over the years that I am a pro at them. I want to make them for you, too! I will take any digital images you have (I can get images off of DVDs, flash drives, cloud based storage systems... whatever you have we can make it work). If you have actual prints that are just sitting in a box I can make scans of those and turn them into digitial images that can be placed into a book for you. I can do it all! I can take hand written cards or letters and scan those in, too, to add them into your album. Have some recipe cards and photos of your great aunt that you'd love in a book? I can do that, too. Seriously, I geek out over making albums. I love every kind: travel/vacation books, first year of your child's life, celebrations (50th birthday parties, graduations, etc), books to remember a loved pet, weddings (my gosh I LOVE building wedding albums!!), albums featuring your kid's athletic endeavors; you name it! I can bulid it. I will work with you on the number of photos you want included and I will get you a fair price.

Here's a short, scary story... I made a wedding album for a couple by using their flash drive that contained their wedding photos. They had not gotten a chance to ever put their pictures onto a computer or build an album with the photographer who photographed their wedding (and he'd since gone out of business). The flash drive was from 2015. It sat in it's original box and was kept in a drawer in their home. I got it home and uploaded the images onto my external hard drive. About 45 of their ~600 photos had been corrupted. I was so sad. A few of them were photos of their family (in a big wedding group). I had to break the bad news to the couple... we could likely turn the flash drive into an expert to see if the photos could be salvaged, but that would come at a price. They decided not to and I just make the album with the photos I could, since I still had a good amount to chose from. It was really sad though to see those broken images and know they'd never be enjoyed by anyone ever again.

Seriously, if this blog post spurred you to do anything, please let it be that you will get your photos off of the flash drives and DVDs and onto your computer and into a digital cloud service. Get those prints that are collecting dust scanned and into a cloud storage system or into an album. If you need recommendations or assistance with any of these things, reach out and I can help. If you are a professional photographer who is still sharing or storing any of your photo sessions on flash drives, please stop this practice and put them online instead. Those flash drives are not forever. Don't let your clients or yourself find that out the hard way.

I'd love for you to consider allowing me to create a photo album for you with your digital images. I have plenty of examples to show (I've been meaning to do this on an Instagram story or reel... stay tuned).