Sunday, December 4, 2011

How Do You Enjoy Your Photos?

Our final installment on photo storage and organization from guest blogger Siobhan Wolf Shaffer, photographer and Creative Memory Consultant.

How Do You Enjoy Your Photos?
The Ultimate Photo Storage 

        By now I think most people have heard the horrors of the old “magnetic” photo albums.  No magnets were involved - only PVC filled plastic film over cardboard pages covered in super glue.  The photos inside were faded, yellow, and stuck to the pages.  (If your photos are still in an album like this, I highly recommend you getting them out.  Contact me if you need help doing so.) 
        Then there were pocket page albums like the ones my mom used.  The PVC in the plastic sucked the colors right out of the photographs. When we took the old photos out, the plastic pages were tinted red. 
        Fortunately for us, today there are many options for safely preserving our photos while we enjoy them. 
        Digital photo frames are a simple way to fill your home with your precious memories.  They offer an ever changing slide show of your favorite images and can, and should, be updated often. 
        Scrapbook albums preserve your photos and allow you to tell your stories, preserving your memories as well.  We all tend to think we will remember the precious moments, the funny stories, and the exciting times.  Yet if we rely on our brains alone, we will be disappointed despite our best intentions.  That is the way of memory.  By writing down the important details alongside the photos, we can ensure that these details will be there long after we are gone.  Include in your stories the people, places, and dates associated with the photos, but also include your feelings, the thoughts you had, and any stories that are not readily conveyed by the images. 
        There are many scrapbook albums on the market today.  Be sure to look for albums and pages that are acid free, lignin free, and buffered to ensure the highest quality of photo preservation available.
        Creative Memories’ traditional scrapbook albums give you the most flexibility and room for creativity.  Design and create pages around your photos with your stories alongside them.  From simple to decorative, the choice is yours.       
        For those seeking more structure and ease, the Creative Memories Picfolio line is the perfect blend of pocket and scrapbook album.  Using Creative Memories’ Memory Manager also allows you to create the album digitally then send your files to Creative Memories Digital for printing.  When your prints arrive, they will be in the order they will go into your album.  Add a mat and journal card and you are ready to share.  (You can also create digital journal cards and have them printed along with your photos.)
        Creative Memories’ Storybook Creator is an entire suite of digital scrapbooking software that allows you to create Storybooks, simple or decorative, then have them printed and sent to you as a high quality, bound photo book - perfect for your coffee table. 
        Once you have your albums created, they should be stored, like your prints, in the living areas of your home.  They should be stored upright on a shelf the same way you would store a book.  Laying albums flat and stacking them compresses the pages.  Over time, the pages can become stuck to one another and album covers will become warped under the weight.
        In addition to enjoying your photos in albums, your photos also make wonderful artwork - not just for the refrigerator.  Enlarging and framing favorite family or vacation photos fills your home with your most precious moments.  Photo calendars, mugs, and t-shirts are among the many gift options available today.  You can even design and make greeting cards for any occasion using your own photographic images.  The options for sharing and gifting your photos today are endless.
        The most important thing to do with our photos is to finish them - print them and enjoy them.  These are the moment that have meaning to you.  That’s why you made the photographs in the first place.