Saturday, May 12, 2007

Snapshots of Time

Rick and his sister, Lana, in 1958.

I've spent part of this weekend scanning old photos that Rick inherited when his aunt recently passed away. For me, it's a labor of love. When he can tell who is in the photo, he's been sorting them into family piles. After they're scanned, we'll mail them out to the families.

The sad thing is that some of them aren't labeled. I think everyone's been guilty of thinking "I'll always remember this!" and not writing a name or a date on a photo. The photos get put away or put into an album...and soon we forget who was there, when it was, and what we were doing.

There is a right way and a wrong way to label a photo. The wrong was is with an ink pen on the back! The ink can bleed through in time and it also dents the photo on the front. The right way is with a photo labeling pencil. They are inexpensive and you can find them at most places that sell scrapbook supplies.

I've also used post-it notes on the BACKS of the photos when I've been in a real hurry or there are lots of details to remember. The downfall to this is that the notes can fall off, of course. You don't want to leave them there for a long time as the adhesives may not be acid free and could damage the photo in time.

You can also put a group of like photos into an envelope and label it. If all the pictures are from a birthday party, you're likely to remember who the guests are, but you might forget the date if it's not written down.

The most important thing is to get the photos into some kind of acid free album AND labeled. This does not mean you have to turn into a scrapbooker! Be sure your photos are protected and you have details written down. That's all you really need. Sure, it's fun to look at colorful scrapbooks, but the important thing is to get the photos into a safe place where people can enjoy them. If you decide you later want to scrapbook, you'll have all the photos in some kind of order with labels. There's nothing more overwhelming than facing a box full of envelopes of photos and you have no idea where to start.

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