Family Photos: Organize, Preserve, and Enjoy
The idiom “A picture is worth a thousand words” has particular impact for genealogists and family historians. Many of us desire to connect with ancestors and viewing an old family photo is a quick, powerful way to connect with people who are literally a part of us.
Recently I finished a digital photo book project. For my project, I scanned all the photos I could find of my mom and my dad from childhood until the time they married. Then I created a digital photo book for each parent. My photo books organized the photos I collected in a meaningful way so I can enjoy the photos and share the photos with other family members.
Even though this two week project was a last minute deal based on a promotion by a digital photo book company, I had a delightful time learning more about my parents and their siblings through their photos. Who knew that Uncle Richard looks like great grandfather James Nathaniel or that Aunt Joan was a clone copy of her youngest daughter when a child. Comparisons aside, I quickly learned that photos are most valuable to family historians when they are organized, preserved, and most importantly shared with family.
Photos are more beneficial if they have correct labels. The most useful labels include
- Names of people in the photo
- Date the photo was taken
- Identifying information like a place or special event that gives more detail about the photo
Here’s a thought to remember about labeling photos:
When labeling pictures, writing family stories, or performing any type of research analysis, constantly remind yourself that what is obvious to you may not be obvious to someone else. We’ve all encountered the hundred year old newspaper article that omitted details we would love to know today were probably “obvious and well-known” at the time.
What’s obviously obvious to one may not be so obviously obvious to another.
And the line between being obviously obvious and being an incorrect assumption is a very fine one.
(Source: Michael John Neill, Genealogy Search Tip of the Day, posted 11/29/15)
Because I wanted to create a digital photo book, I needed to digitize the photos first. I chose to scan my photos. Click here to view 10 Steps to Scanning, Preserving and Sharing Your Photos: Part 1
Photos are meant to be viewed and enjoyed. For me, digital photo books are a fun way to enjoy family photos. Part of enjoying photos includes sharing photos with other family members. I like to give family history photo books as birthday and Christmas gifts. They are an attractive way to share a piece of your family history.