If you had to evacuate your house today due to a natural disaster, what things would you like to take with you? Most people would say their precious photographs.
This day in age we are bombarded with things to do, to store, to take care of, that sometimes we forget the most important tasks, like making time to back up and print photographs.
Today's children are growing up to be part of the most photographed generation, but parents are consistently making these 5 mistakes with family's photographs which will leave their kids with no record of their childhood at all.
1. USING SOCIAL MEDIA AS MAIN PHOTO STORAGE.
When you upload to Facebook or Instagram, your image gets automatically resized to a smaller size, meaning the quality goes down. Although It looks great on your cellphone, I will looks pixaleted on a bigger device and It will look terrible on printing. If you're using those sites as the main place to keep and access your images and not worrying about keeping your photos safe otherwise, this is a huge mistake. A better option is to keep them on an external hard drive, have a cloud storage and print your favourites photos.
2. NOT PRINTING your favorite PHOTOS.
If you are like most parents, you probably don't have a regular scheduled process for printing the photographs that are on your phone and computer. You may have great aspirations of creating a printed album or a family yearbook, which somehow never actually happens because (surprise) It's an insane amount of work and life just gets busy. But keeping all your images in their digital form almost guarantees that the photographs won't be around in 10 or 20 years (because all digital media formats changes one day, just like the old floppy discs ain't around anymore). You don't need to print all your photos, but setting aside a few hours each year to order a few high-quality prints is one of the most important things you can do to preserve your family memories.
3. NOT BEING IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS.
If you are like most mums, you must have tons of photos of your kids, even lots of them with daddy, but you are missing. When your kids grow up, they will want to know what YOU looked like when they were little! This requires more work than just photographing the children, but it's one of those things that you can't go back in time to do after the fact. Most mothers worry about looking good in these photos and often avoid being photographed because they aren't 100% camera ready. This is one of those times where it might be a good idea to hire a professional photographer (one who is well-trained in making parents look good!), but you can also hand your camera to hubby and insist on a photo with your children. The secret is to actively insist on being in those photos and let go of looking "perfect". Later on, you will be glad you did this.
4. NOT HAVING AT LEAST TWO DIGITAL BACKUPS.
Hard drives will eventually fail. This is just a fact. Computer hard drives (4 years), external hard drives (5-6 years), USB keys (1-10 years), and cloud storage (who knows!) can loose your photos at any moment, which is why I ask my clients to always keep their "digital negatives" in at least two places. When you consider how often formats change (the new computers don't even have cd reader anymore), it becomes clear that you need to store them in the cloud and as well as print them. Choose a cloud service that will be hopefully around in the future (Drop Box , iCloud, or Google Drive) and that won't resize or alter your images.
5. NOT displaying them around the house
Research shows that when kids see themselves in photographs in their home, they grow up with more confidence and better self esteem. Those images give them a sense of belonging and let them know how loved and cherished they are. My child is only 2 years old and he absolutely loves flicking through our family albums and books often points to his photos on the wall.
I learned #4 the hard way. In 2010, one of my hard drives died and I lost a whole year of pictures. :(
Let me know below what mistakes you make or used to make.