Starting right now, for every image you plan to keep, if it’s digital, name it with the date and the people and/or places in it and batch load them to DropBox, to another on-line back-up storage place, or to one of the sites listed below. If you have printed photos, put the names, place, and date on the back using a gel pen as soon as you have them in your hand. I can’t emphasize how important it is to put crucial information on each image or photo. I had to throw out some that dated back to the 1800s that my mother and aunt kept because I had no idea who the people were, so they were useless to me. The same will happen with digital ones if they are not correctly named.
Next, upload your photos to a place like:
- FLICKR flickr.com Easy sharing from almost any mobile device
- PHOTOBUCKET photobucket.com Scrapbook builder. Add music and slide shows
- SNAPFISH snapfish.com Encourages you to order prints and personalized gifts. Has private “group rooms” for family and friends to see your photos and leave comments
- SHUTTERFLY shutterfly.com You can upload photos and have them made into greeting cards or calendars. Sign up and get 50 4×6 free prints
- SMUGMUG smugmug.com/ Yearly fee, seems reasonable for what they offer, which is a lot
- GOOGLE PHOTOES google.com Automatically finds and stores all the photos on your PC and Android devices
I’ve mentioned just a few of the highlights from each site. Frankly, it makes me want to upload my photos to several different sites in get all the unique features. Uploading to any of these sites can act as your backup for photos, which is another reason to use more than one site, in case one goes out of business or suddenly fails for some reason.
Figure out how you want to store printed images. Scrapbook or boxes? You might want to have a system of boxes to temporally store them until you put them in a scrapbook. The boxes can be labeled, for example by person, place, or date in order to easily place them in the book later. You may also wish to get all your print photos digitized. I’ve noticed that the prices for doing this have come down a lot lately.
Ideally, and if I had to do it all over again, I would keep a diary (so easy to do now digitally) and put the pictures on the diary pages every day. Later this could be made into a bound book you can give to people in the photos and keep for yourself.