Changing office space always gives me an excuse to reorganize photos, paw through faded memories and old Polaroids. It’s a treasure hunt among the shoeboxes and old hard drives and thumb drives. Yet, travel photos are not all that I have and there are many, many scans of ticket stubs, receipts and museum passes no one cares about but me. So, how do you preserve those travel memories and display them where they can see the light of day? Here are my Top 5 tips for saving those travel photos and much more.
1. Delete & Edit: Delete your photos on a daily basis while traveling. My friend came home with 1500 photos from a week long trip. And, once home, clean out the cobwebs, literally and figuratively. Let go of photos and mementos of people and places which no longer hold meaning. Just hit delete & poof, they’re gone.
2. Organize! Sort by decade, trip, travel subject. Narrow down to about 100 photos and you can produce a decent 20-page, 8×11 photo book.
3. Get creative! Websites like Shutterfly, CVS or Snapfish now make it easy to create your own coffee table brag book. The results are magnificent. Just keep in mind that the more photos that you try to squeeze onto a page the worse the quality of the photos. However, when you place just one or two photos onto a page, the results are breathtaking and often appear better than a published coffee table travel book. You can even try your hand at digital photo editing. My favorite online free photo editor is PicMonkey.com
4. Scan away! If you don’t have a scanner, technical know-how or even the time to organize those shoe boxes of ancient photo prints, there are websites now which will do your scanning and organizing for you. All you have to do is send them envelopes loaded with your photos, slides, negatives, even scraps of paper. They will scan and send you an organized disc of .jpg files. I recently sent over 200 images to Scan Cafe. They scanned by hand and enhanced where needed.
5. Digital frames: I am not a big fan of digital slide shows. Who actually sits and watches the rotating images? To me, they are almost as useless as old fashioned 35mm slides but everyone seems to get one for Father’s Day or Christmas so you might as well put them to use. You can load hundreds of images and then watch them and watch them and watch them again.
Photos are only pictorial snapshots of memories you hold in your heart. So, my best advice is live in the moment. See, feel, inhale the life around you and stop looking at life through a viewfinder.