It began yesterday – a cold dreary day in the Northeast - and continued today. Two perfect days to dive into the boxes of family photos yet to be sorted and culled. I planned two days because a project of this kind takes time and emotional energy.
I was not starting from scratch. Years ago I learned that the sticky-back photo albums were deadly to photos, and so I sat on the floor with one album at a time. I went through and made piles, sorting into family, friends, and those photos I no longer wanted to keep. I realized then that for all those years we considered photos somewhat sacred items that couldn’t be throw away. Well, that changed! I culled out bags of photos - the landscape photos of - we don’t remember where or why they were taken; pictures of people that you have no idea who they are - you get the idea.
Photo albums with margin space for labeling were purchased. I made a good start, but I had so much more to do. And I have been putting it off until my Sorting Saturday project.
Decisions: We now take digital photos, so there are new decisions to be made on preservation. Do we print them or sort and organize to produce a photo book from one of the many online photo book companies? Photo books are a great option, but they tend to be expensive. We know low cost printing is not an option if we want long lasting photographs. We have to make sure our digital photos are printed on archival quality 100% cotton fiber paper with pigmented inks. We also know we should not store our photos in a cedar chest!
So we are utilizing a combination for our photo preservation. Some photos are displayed in the above mentioned conventional photo albums, with much labeling yet to be done; many photos are stored in labeled archival sleeves in acid-free boxes (from Light Impressions), and a few recent photos are in the on-line produced photo books.
As Sorting Saturday comes to an end I feel very good about the state of our family photo organization. Until, of course, I turn my attention to the boxes of old photos from my mother’s house…