Point, Shoot, Print, Scan

In just under 2 weeks we will be gathering friends and family to celebrate my Grandpa’s 90 years

This last weekend I spent several hours going through two dozen photo albums worth of family pictures. Some were amazing gems,

the bride on her wedding day

and others brought back fond memories,

It’s been years since I used a film camera which got me thinking about how I archive and manage my family photos. I can sum it up in 5 easy steps.

#1 Take pictures

I can’t tell you the number of times I should have stopped for a minute and taken a photo. With friends, with family, of some special occasion… there are many missed opportunities and I am better at insisting on photos when it’s important.

#2 Save only the good pictures

It’s easy with digital to save every picture and that is a mistake. It’s essential to delete the blurry, the duplicates, the unimportant shots. If it’s poor quality or even just the same picture I have many copies of then it’s best to delete.

#3 Label and Sort Immediately

If you check the file details for photos you can usually see the exact date and time of capture. I label the files by date (year_monthday) and then the description (Edinburgh, Speedster Run, Jackson). It’s much easier to sort the photos once they’re sorted which makes printing and sharing easier.

#4 Backup, Backup, Backup

Once the files are downloaded from my camera’s memory card Carbonite begins uploading a backup. Once the files are organized I load them into Picasa for editing. The images nearly always need cropping, minor lighting changes and other finishing touches. I save those files in Picasa’s online manager which means I can access them anywhere online.

#5 Share and share alike

Give photos away. Share with family and friends and the community.


It’s been a long process going through 100 years worth of photos and making my own judgments about the ones I want to scan and those I’d rather not invest time in. One thing that these projects always reinforces for me is to go live, explore and enjoy life. Just like my Grandpa George.


2 thoughts on “Point, Shoot, Print, Scan

  1. You are SO right! I was just thinking today that we take far too few pictures… we only have about a dozen pictures from our honeymoon, and two of those have us in them – in separate pictures! And so many other events we either forget the camera or forget to USE the darn thing. BTW, that second pic is perfect – did you have to do a lot of work on it, or did your family store their pictures that well? So many of our old family pics are really degraded.

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