6 ways to protect your digital memories and portraits.
You are not alone if you prefer digital portraits to prints.
You can not deny your love and preference for digital portraits as well as your concerns about, possibly and suddenly, loosing them all one. What should you do?
You had a wonderful photography experience, prepared your looks and family for the photo session and you have just downloaded your digital photo gallery. Now what?
You feel comfortable that your files are either stuck in a drawer or stored in a cluttered folder in your computer. Set it aside and get back to your day with peace in your mind.
Oh well… may I invite you to spare a bit of your time to get organized? Here is how to get things done the right way and what to consider.
This blog is not about being cute, it is about becoming an eye opener if you wish to preserve what you have invested, as time and money, on your portraits.
Let’s get started!
All rights reserved - text and image - to La Dolce Vita Photography by Layne Fernandes
1. The future of Social Media Promises
There is no promise of safety or guarantee that absolutely any Social Media platform will remain the same as is today or even exist during our lifetime. Considering the fast advancements in technology, that today brings, keep in mind that ALL your videos and photographs will be lost if and when this happens. Take action now!
2. Organization comes first.
Consider the creation and assignment of specific folders in your computer in a way that is CLEAR and EASY to find all your memories in ONE place.
Assign a drive of your preference, where your photos will be stored for easy access.
In my G Drive I have a folder called: “PERSONAL PICTURES” and inside this main folder, I subdivide it with other organizational “drawers’, for easier visualization. Example:
Folder 1 and Year_Description_Occasion
o Family_Trip to Disney
o Child 1_Birthday Celebration
o Family_Thanksgiving with relatives
o Favorites to print (whenever I upload files to my lab, I can find those favorite images, pre-selected and ready to print, here in this folder).
This organizational method has given me freedom to manage all folders with easy access. You may feel comfortable to name it as you want.
Another easy trail example is:
PICTURES_MY TIMELINE (without an assigned year).
o 1980_My loved ones
o 1999_High School Days
o 2005_College Memories
o 2010_Meeting Future Hubby
o Fresh 24
o Arriving home from hospital
o Meeting our puppy Caesar
o First month
o First birthday
o Cake Smash Session
o Favorites to print.
3. Replicate your digital organization
This step can not be overlooked. In case of any computer or technology failure, the misfortune of being stolen, home fire… you will want to be a pro-active person with an “Ace” card hidden under your sleeve with a good old Plan “B” in hands, by replicating your organization in a Second Digital Location!
a) External hard drive. Consider buying terabyte sizes.
Amazon has many affordable options to choose from. You can look at my wishlist, including lightweight fire protection for documents and computer things.
b) Online drive or Cloud services.
c) All of the above.
I still remember my collection of Verbatim Disks and writable CDs, no longer used today. Do you have any guess of what will be used in 10, 30 or 50 years from today?
4. Social Media, Prints and Framed Wall Art
Images and photos posted on any Social Media platform, have their original sizes and pixels, automatically, adjusted for screen and flow optimization. The quality is far from being the same, compared to its original form, if I try to save it on my device and print it again.
Photos that I have considered to print as individuals, coffee table albums or frame as wall displays, end up being the ones to survive the barrier of time. They are, not only my favorites to cherish and easily share with family and friends, but they will be easily passed to my generations’ homes.
5. The truth about Thumb drives and CDs
I have a few cute metal boxes that holds my old CDs and thumb drives. I confess that every time I am looking for something, I have to go through more than box to find what I am looking for. Sometimes I have them misplaced or I forget where that information can be… do you understand and relate to what I say?
The other day I found out, some of my thumb drives are no longer functioning and one or another CD was scratched from my last moving or my child was playing with it… all those information have been lost. I have never had a backup for them…
6. Transform your digitals into Printed memories!
“I do not want to spend my money with expensive prints!”
“One day I am going to die and someone else will burn and toss my investment.”
I have heard it all…
When I was a child, my sister and I would make field trips with Mom, to visit my Auntie Adair who lived on a distant part of town. We also gave rides to another Auntie, Araci, to go with us. The sisters did crochet together, prepared delectable delicatessen, tea and kids, cousins, would use their imagination playing games.
We visited and, at some point, we would gather on my Auntie’s bedroom or dining room table to revisit all the history behind her heirloom jewelry box and a shoe box with heirloom photographs. Being the oldest daughter, she was entitled to be the holder of those precious antique memories of my ancestors.
I always had so much fun, and my young thoughts were flooded with imagination about learning so many things about what was left from each of them, the little we knew about them. I imagined each of my ancestors, in my time, their hobbies, dreams, hard working and lifestyle. I would love so much to meet each of them… Those gathering moments are nothing compared to nowadays video games, text messages or interacting with Alexa's voice who lives inside my refrigerator’s door…
Can you spare a moment to imagine your future grandkids or even your nephews and nieces’ kids gathering around your table and looking at your old albums, with you telling them stories, all about your loved ones featured on the pictures? That album is going to be passed, from one pair of precious little hands to another. It is nothing compared to trying to find a CD, thumb drive or computer file to try to show one or another passage of your history.
Who knows what technology will be in only 30 years from today? I can say that photos and albums, that we can hold and feel at our fingertips, will still exist and we will appreciate the fact that we can flip those pages and reflect back on all the legacy our family members left for us and the different family milestones.
What I, personally, like to do is to have a few of my favorite photos - from professional photo sessions or informal clicks - printed and displayed around my home. Some of them are professionally framed while others I can change according to seasons and holidays of the year, by reutilizing the same table frame. I feel comfort by doing this and I love to ask my little one to help me with this task.
I believe this action not only creates a sense of family ties, belonging and nourishment but it also elevates the vibe of my home, where I am grateful to be with my family and create my own sanctuary in it. I enjoy looking at those images every.single.day of my life.
I KNOW that all of my digital photos and files are there for me to have and reach as emergencies, documents, if someone asks for something they are putting together for an event and general backups.
ALL my PRINTS are there for the main reason of making my house a home and for me to look and feel the anchor of love that surpass the barrier or time.
Please feel comfortable reach me out and share your thoughts and your ideas! I am open to happy and motivational conversations and new sources of inspirations.