When was the last time you printed your photos? Most of us don’t print anymore. After all, digital has given us a world of options! We can store them on our computers and share them online. We can make everything from photo books to photo gifts right from the computer. We can send Grandma a link, rather than mailing her a hard copy.
However, if your photos only reside on a computer, in books created digitally, and in the cloud, your family’s legacy may be in danger! Here’s why:
Technology failure: Computer hard drives, external hard drives and memory cards do fail. We all know someone that its happened to. Getting your photos back in the event of a hard drive failure can be fairly costly.
Issues with hosting services: Hosting services do go out of business. Also, while mistakes aren’t frequent, they do happen…just google “photo accounts accidentally deleted” to see what I mean. And sometimes if you don’t make a purchase on your account within a certain time frame, your hosting service will delete your photos. Have you ever gotten one of those notifications? I know I have.
Technological obsolescence: Technology truly is both a blessing and a curse. While we are able to do more with our photos because of technology (blessing), the fact that we have to constantly re-record to keep current with technology is difficult, not to mention often costly (curse). Those DVDs you saved all your old photos to? Most likely your computer won’t be able to read them 30 years from now.
A photo isn’t a photo: When you create digital photo books, the photo you see on the page isn’t really a photo anymore. It can’t be scanned and reproduced in decent quality. So if that is the only way you are preserving your photos, your family legacy could be ruined by a spilled cup of coffee.
High tech is risky: In the event of your passing, your family will be going through your personal effects deciding what to keep. A box of treasured printed photos will most likely be kept; your 8 year old computer is probably headed to recycling.
My challenge to you is to start the process! Start with your most recent photos. Go through all your photos from this year, and print the best ones. Set aside time to go back to later years. Then be sure to store them properly in an archival photo storage box. And of course, make sure any photos you have laying around the house are also stored properly!