Monday, August 11, 2008

Family Photos

The last time we pulled out the old family photos as a group was at Evelyn and Gene's 50th Wedding Anniversary. It was so special and fun to watch Martha's kids go through and organize 70 years worth of photos.

Martha's family went through and sorted the old photographs. Each of the siblings has a box with photos of their family. There is another group of early photos of Gene and Evelyn and their parents. I'm hoping to scan them next month so everyone can have a copy of Evelyn and Gene in their early years and some of the ancestors.

Today we have gone digital and many times we don't print our photos. Computer crashes and hard drive failures require that we keep our digital photos backed up in more than one place. I have to wonder if some priceless memories will be "lost" as digital photo formats change and morph and people don't keep "saving forward."

Word to the wise: Keep multiple copies of your priceless family photos. Burn them on CD's or DVD's. Back them up on external hard drives. Give copies to other family members so they are stored in more than one geographical place - fires, storms, floods, and even internal water leaks can damage or destroy heirloom photos. And keep up with the photo format changes - I shoot RAW, so I need to be sure that as the technological changes that are inevitable that I can still retrieve and view my most important photos. It is easy to think that .jpeg and .tiff will always be around . . . but we used beta video recorders and are now in the process of converting those to DVD format. Even had we used VHS, we would still need to convert them to DVD's as video recorders are disappearing and people are using DVD's and DVR to record and view their videos.

The future generations of your family will thank you for preserving visual memories of the family history.

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