How To Keep Your Holiday Photos Safe

Updated 3/7/21

How To Keep Your Holiday Photos Safe

28 POST Holiday Photos Go Pro
Do you remember that commercial with all of the pictures standing inside some guy’s camera, all squished together like they were riding on a subway car at rush hour?  They’d all jockey for position hoping that they wouldn’t be the picture that would get deleted to make room for whatever the camera owner wanted to take a picture of next.  It was hysterical!  Unless you’re the picture that gets deleted.  Or the owner of the camera who has to decide which of his favorite pictures to deleted so he can take another.
So how many photos are YOU going to take this Christmas or Hanukkah?
The picture of your toddler opening up her first tricycle?
The shot of your husband nearly knocking over the TV trying to put the star on the tree?
And how many of them will still be around for you to enjoy next year?
Not so funny, is it?  
There are two things that put every picture you take, in jeopardy.  The first is not taking the time to download the pictures you’ve already taken, onto your computer for safekeeping.   The second, is not being prepared to capture that once-in-a-lifetime photo whenever it happens.
Here are two simple steps, you can take that will completely eliminate the danger of losing this year’s special memories.
1) Do not, do not, do not use anything but a regular digital or video camera to take photos during the holidays.  Don’t grab the cell phone to snap the picture of the entire family including 101 year old Grandpa Charlie around the Christmas table.  Very few cell phones have enough megapixels to grab a good enough picture for the family to keep and share.  It might be convenient, but you know as well as I do that you’re going to get a blurry or fuzzy shot instead of what you really want.  And even you do manage to snap a Mona Lisa, you’re going to forget to email it to yourself, so don’t even think about it!
2) Instead, choose your best digital camera and keep it at your side throughout the holidays.  Keep it charged, or even better keep an extra battery charged as well.  And while you’re at it, keep an extra SD card ready to swap out, just in case your Hanukkah dinner ends up being photo-intensive than you thought.  To add an additional level of safety, draft another relative to do exactly the same thing so that you’ll get full coverage of every event.  Then you can get together when the holidays are over, compare your work and send the best photos to all of your relatives on a CD.   Now that’s a holiday to remember.

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3) Don’t let the memory card on your camera get so full that you have to start deleting pictures!   In fact don’t let it get anywhere near full.   At the end of every evening make yourself take five minutes to download that day’s photos to your computer.  Make sure you already have the USB cable next to your computer before you leave for the evening so you won’t have any excuses when you get back home.  Get your kids or your husband to promise not to let you go to bed without downloading them, even if you have to leave the camera on the bed as a reminder.
4) If you’re really bad at remembering to download your photos to your computer, then watch the video above.  The secret is to let the your camera or phone do the downloading for you.  How?  Buy a wireless camera like the Canon Power Shot. Wi-Fi digital cameras automatically connect to the Wi-Fi connection in your home to upload your photos from your camera to your computer, without you having to lift a finger.  If you don’t have a wireless camera or don’t want to purchase a new one, get an Eye-Fi card.  Eye-Fi is an SD card with a built-in wireless connection that will do exactly the same thing.  We’ll get into more details about it in another blog post, but you can be in Italy sipping espresso at a sidewalk café with a Wi-Fi connection and your photos will begin appearing on your computer back home, safe and sound until you get return.
This year, don’t leave your photos to chance.  Take a moment to take these two simple steps and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying this year’s holiday photos.  While you’re putting up the ornaments next year.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Back It Up

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music. But grabbing piles of photo albums and all your picture frames off the walls is pretty hard to do when you’re running out the door! With Back It Up, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, music (including vinyl & cassettes) and save them in multiple, disaster proof locations. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog
Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

 

How To Back Up Your Parent’s Print Photos

45 POST Parents Photos Canon Sony WiFi Camera
Updated 3/7/21

How To Back Up Your Parent’s Printed Photos 

I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of earthquakes — like the quakes in Ecuador and Japan — is the look on victim’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find a photo of their wedding or of their children.  
In today’s world, now that we have smartphones, taking photos has become a daily event.  If one gets harmed or destroyed, we just print out another copy.  Not true though for old family photos that are hanging on the wall, or worse, stuck like glue inside a yellowed photo album.  

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And where will you find most of those old photos?  At your parent’s and grandparent’s house — where unfortunately one-of-a-kind can mean just that.  One copy and that’s it! What a horrible thing it would be for them or for you to be left without the pictures you treasure the most, especially when keeping them safe and sound is so easy.
So give this post a quick read, grab the tools you need for the job and let’s get Mom and Dad’s photos and cameras squared away once and for all!
As you know, there are two types of photos.  The first are photo prints – basically anything that is a physical photo, whether it’s in a frame, in an album or lurking in the back of a kitchen or desk drawer.  In order to archive those photos, you’ll need to scan them and get them into a digital format so that they can be put on a computer or portable hard drive.  That’s what we’ll be dealing with in this article.  The second type of photo is a digital photo – which we help you back up and archive in another post.  
One thing that makes print photos harder to archive than other keepsakes is the simple fact that we get so used to seeing our favorite photos hanging around the house, that we don’t always think to take them off the wall and scan them for safekeeping.  
So your first task is to locate all of your parent’s physical photos.  Don’t forget to look for all the albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on the bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.  After that, we’ll get them scanned.  
If there are a lot of photos around the house, you’ll probably need some help dealing with all of your pictures.  Why not declare one day “scanning day”.  Invite a bunch of good friends over to help, and if you have as much fun as we think you will, next time have them bring over their own photos to scan.  Do you have kids?  That’s even better – they’ll have a great time helping.

1. Grab a pencil and paper

…and go around the house jotting down all the non-digital photos or photo collections you want to secure and their current location.

2. Gather all of the photos that you located.

Although all of your photos are important, some mean more to your parents than others.
Take a few moments to look at the photo albums, prints and framed photos and separate them into two different piles.
  • In the first pile, place photos that you want to copy and save in a digital format, for safekeeping.
  • In the second pile, place photos that you:
    • Already have in digital format and could easily recopy if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
    • Have numerous other copies of the photo in other locations. Check to make sure that this is actually true, before you decide not to scan them.
    • Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
  • You can go ahead and put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.

3. Scan Away!

Take the photos in the first pile, scan each one and download it to your computer, placing them in a brand new folder. When you’re finished, make one copy of that complete folder.  Place the original folder in with the other digital photos on your computer.  Then place the copy of the folder into the backup folder you created earlier.
If you already have digital photos on your computer, save these scanned photos to a new folder within your photos folder.  For example, ScannedPrintPhotos, so you’ll know at a glance which photos are the ones you scanned.

4. Make Sure You Back Up ALL Your Photos To At Least Three Locations

Once you have finished scanning, copy that folder containing all of your photos — the digital ones and the ones you just scanned and save it with a different name, like Photo Archive Backup, with today’s date.   Place a copy of your backup folder in at least three different locations.  Here are a few suggestions of safe places to store them:
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
•In a password-protected online file repository or on the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
•You can also save an extra copy of your photos on Flickr or another internet photo service.  But this really shouldn’t be your long-term solution or only solution, since you have no control over these sites and could lose all of your data without any warning.
•If you really want to keep photos on a secure site that you can share with your family, try iMemories.com.  Not only do they have great servers with outstanding redundant backup capability, but they can even put your photos on DVD for you, providing an extra layer of safety.
If you need more help scanning your photos — or if you have delicate or color challenged photos that need a bit more attention, here are a few tips.

How To Scan Your Photos

There are several great ways to scan your photos.  Just to clarify, a scanner is different than a copy machine, because a scanner makes an exact digital copy of a photo.  It’s a world of difference from a photo copy, which is usually pretty bad.  In many cases a scan of a photo is better than the original.  And the nice thing about them is that once you scan a photo, you can save it onto your computer, share it with family and friends or use photo software to correct faded color, repair damage or otherwise restore old photographs.
Most printers available now are three or four in one printers, that scan as well as print.  You can also scan your photos with a dedicated flatbed scanner (all it does is scan).
Or you can scan your photos with a portable wand scanner, as we mentioned earlier.  Portable wand scanners, like the VuPoint Wand Scanner, have come a long way.  They run on batteries or are rechargeable and save anything you scan onto an SD card.  From there, you can download the scans/photos directly to your computer, via a USB cord, or you can pop the SD card out of the scanner and pop it into your computer to archive your scans.
The best part about having a portable wand scanner is that you can scan photos, documents, even things like marriage certificates or historical documents by swiping the scanner over it, instead of having to take all of those documents home and putting them, one at a time, through your scanner.  It’s especially good, like we said, for scanning photos at relative’s homes.  If they don’t want the photo leaving the house, just take the scanner over and scan the photos you want.   Amazingly, if you’re dealing with a fragile photo, you can even scan it right in the frame.  Or if you have delicate photos in a photo album – have you ever tried to peel photos out of an album without damaging them – you can simply open the book and sweep the scanner over the page.  Then all you have to do is open the scanned page and crop the photos apart, saving each one as a separate photo.  Photos archived, originals safeguarded!
One other scanner we wanted to mention is one that stands out among all the others in the marketplace, for color correction. It’s the Epson Perfection line of scanners, with Epson’s Easy Photo Fix software.   There are several models on Amazon.com.  Do you have any of those photos from the seventies and eighties that ended up a muddled brown-orange mess?   All you have to do is use the Auto Fix setting on the scanner and then scan your seventies photos.  The scanner corrects the color while it scans.  Truly amazing!  
If you don’t have access to a scanner, then have a relative or friend scan them for you.  Scanning is by far the cheapest and most effective way of safeguarding your important photos.  If you can’t get them scanned, go to a copy shop like Fed Ex-Kinko’s and have copies made of all your photos, using non-acid paper.  This will ensure that they will last longer and will fade less as they age.
Now that you know what you’re doing, scan all the loose prints that you want to preserve.  The higher the dpi the better the quality, so use 300 or 600 on your oldest, most treasured photos.  Then save the scans to your computer to back them up.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Back It Up

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music. But grabbing piles of photo albums and all your picture frames off the walls is pretty hard to do when you’re running out the door! With Back It Up, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, music (including vinyl & cassettes) and save them in multiple, disaster proof locations. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog
Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are

How To Back Up Your Print Photos

POST Archive Print Photos stock-photos-image565555579
Updated 4/19/21

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I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of any hurricane or wildfire, is the look on people’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find the things they love.  

Even one photo of their wedding or of their children, can mean the difference between being with or without their cherished memories. 
And with the way the world has been the last few years — from hurricanes to wildfires, tornadoes and oh yeah, COVID — it’s definitely time to make everything we love safe and sound.
Here are our top tips, tools & high tech toys that will get all your favorite photos scanned, stored and accessible quickly and easily. 

Have you been through your family photo album lately? 

How are your pictures doing? 
Are they bright and colorful or faded and lifeless? 
Have you taken the time to scan them or is the print you’re holding, the only one of its kind?
The one thing that makes photos harder to archive than other keepsakes, is that we’re so used to seeing them hanging around the house, that we forget to take them off the wall and scan them for safekeeping.  
Before we get to saving you current pictures, how would you like to make sure all of your future photos are safe and protected before they even leave your camera?
Simple!  The next time you buy a camera, make sure it’s Wi-Fi enabled, like one of my personal favorites, the Sony HX400V Compact Digital CameraEvery picture you snap goes right to your computer or to the Cloud automagically without you having to remember to do it manually.  And it has a spectacular Optical Zoom to boot!   And if you’re not in the market for a new camera, get a Wi-Fi memory card like the ez Share WiFi SD Card that turns most regular digital cameras into Wi-Fi.

Backing Up Your Photos

The good news is, there are so many different printers and scanners and flash drives and hard drives, you can see your favorite family photos any time and anywhere you want. 
In this section, we’ll be dealing with prints – basically anything that is a physical photo, whether it’s in a frame, in an album or lurking in the back of a kitchen or desk drawer — and get them into a digital format. 
If you have a lot of photos around the house, you’ll probably need some help dealing with all of your pictures.  Why not declare one day “scanning day”.  Invite a bunch of good friends over to help, and if you have as much fun as we think you will, next time have them bring over their own photos to scan.  Don’t forget to recruit your kids. They’ll have a great time helping.

1. Oh Photos? Where Are You?

First, locate and gather all of your physical photos.
Don’t forget to look for all your albums, photos in drawers or files, framed and hanging on the walls or sitting on your bookshelf.  

2. Quick Start

Although all of your pictures are important, some mean more to you than others. 
Before you start sorting all your pictures, find the ten or twelve pictures you love the most and back them up first, using the “How To Scan Your Photos” directions below.
Not only will your favorite shots be safe and sound, but you’ll already know what you’re doing when you tackle the rest of them!

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3. Sorting All Your Photos

Separate your photos into two different piles.
In Pile 1, place photos that you want to copy and save in a digital format, for safekeeping.
In Pile 2, place photos that you:
  • Already have in digital format and could easily recopy if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
  • Have numerous copies of in other locations.  Check to make sure that this is actually true, before you decide not to scan them.
  • Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
The next time you have a second, put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.

4. Scan Away!

Using our scanning tips below, scan all of the photos in Pile 1 and save them to your computer.
If you already have digital photos on your computer, save the new scans to a new folder within your photos folder. 
For example, ScannedPrintPhotos, so you’ll know at a glance that these are copies of your old print photos. 

5. Make Sure You Back Up ALL Your Photos To At Least 3 Locations

Once you’ve finished scanning, copy the folder on your computer that contains all of your photos — the digital ones and print ones you just scanned — and save it with a different name, like Photo Archive Backup, with today’s date.  
Place the copy of your backup folder in at least three different locations.  Here are a few suggestions of safe places to store them:
  • On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
  • On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you would evacuate to in an emergency.
  • In a password-protected online file repository like OneDrive, iCloud or Dropbox, or on the file directory of your personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any web enabled computer.
You can also save a copy of your photos on a web-based service like Amazon Photos.  But this shouldn’t be your only solution, since you have no control over the site & could lose your photos without any warning.

How To Scan Your Photos

There are several great ways to scan and preserve your photos.
And the nice thing about it, is that once it’s scanned, you can share it with family and friends or correct faded color, repair damage or otherwise restore old photographs.
You can scan your photos with your all-in-one printer, a regular scanner (all it does is scan), a portable wand scanner that you swipe over your photos one or several at a time, or a photo scanner, with a built-in feeder that protects and guides photos or slides through the scanner, for an extra layer of protection.

Here are some of our favorites.

HP Envy 7120 All-in-One Wireless Photo Printer  
Most printers available now are all-in-one printers, that scan as well as print.  This one is especially easy to use as a regular or photo printer and is compact enough to put on your desk.  Not only can you scan and print high resolution photos directly on to acid free photo paper, but it’s also a wireless printer with HP ePrint, which means that you can send photos directly to your printer from your smartphone or tablet.
Portable Wand Scanners
Portable wand scanners, like the VuPoint Magic Wand Scanner, have come a long way.  They run on batteries or are rechargeable and save anything you scan onto an SD card.  From there, you can download the scans/photos directly to your computer via a USB cord, or you can pop the SD card out of the scanner and pop it into your computer to archive your scans.
The best part about having a portable wand scanner is that you can scan photos, documents, and even things like marriage certificates or historical documents by swiping the scanner over it, instead of having to feed them through your scanner one at a time. 
It’s especially good, for scanning photos at relative’s homes.  If Aunt Sadie doesn’t want her favorite photos the leaving her house, just take the scanner over and scan the ones you want.   If you’re dealing with a fragile photo, you can even scan it right in the frame. 
Or if you have delicate photos in a photo album – have you ever tried to peel photos out of an album without damaging them – you can simply open the book and sweep the scanner over the page. 
From there, all you have to do is open the scanned page and crop the photos apart, saving each one as a separate photo.  Photos archived, originals safeguarded!
Kodak P570 Personal Photo Scanner  
This portable scanner not only expertly scans photos, but it has a special attachment that scans slides and negatives, turning them into full size, high-quality photos.
We found some slides that someone had given us, and since we never used slides ourselves, we didn’t have the equipment to look at them. 
With the Kodak Scanner, all we did was feed the slide into the scanner and suddenly we had full color, beautiful photos that looked like they were processed last week.  Absolutely amazing!
If you don’t have access to a scanner, then have a relative or friend scan them for you, or go to a copy shop like Fed Ex-Kinko’s to have them scanned.  While you’re there, print color copies of your favorite photos on non-acid paper.  This will ensure that they will last longer and will fade less as they age.
Now that you know what you’re doing, scan all the loose prints that you want to preserve, then save the scans to your computer to back them up.
Once you have all of your photos or documents scanned and saved, look through and find any that are damaged, faded or yellowed.
There are so many great photo software programs out there, like Adobe Photoshop Elements. But one scanner stands out among all the others in the marketplace, for color correction, right in the scanner.
It’s the Epson Perfection line of scanners, with Epson’s Easy Photo Fix software. Do you have any of those photos from the seventies and eighties that ended up a muddled brown-orange mess? This is the only easy solution we have found to restoring then back to their natural color. All you have to do is use the Auto Fix setting on the scanner and then scan your seventies photos. The scanner corrects the color while it scans.
Even if you have to touch them up a bit with Photoshop Elements afterwards, using the Epson scanner will save you hours if not days of manual color correction, that probably wouldn’t come out have as great as they do on the scanner.

High Tech Toys

Here are some of our favorite high-tech tools and toys to help you get all of your favorite photos, music, home videos, movies – and anything else that can be stored digitally – backed up, stored and accessible.  Wherever you are.  Whatever is going on around you.  24/7. 
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020
Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger
Axis Self-Powered Safety Hub
Canon PowerShot Wi-Fi Enabled ELPH 190 Digital Camera
ClearClick Video to Digital Converter
Epson Perfection V600 Photo, Film, & Document Scanner
ez Share WiFi SD Card
Fireproof Document Bags
Sentry Fireproof/Waterproof  Lateral File Cabinet
SentrySafe Fireproof and Waterproof Safe
HP Photo Printer All-in-One Wireless Envy 7120
ION Audio Premier LP Turntable Vinyl Record Player
Kodak P570 Personal Photo Scanner
Magnavox VHS to DVD Combo Recorder
Reshow Cassette Player  MP3 Converter
Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
SanDisk 32GB Connect Wireless Stick Flash Drive
SanDisk 32GB iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad
Sony 4K HD Video Camcorder
Sony HX400V Compact Digital Camera
VuPoint Handheld Magic Wand Portable Scanner
The COVID pandemic has created a new list of toys that people can’t do without — including some very cool high-tech solutions to unexpected challenges.  Like staying healthy and working from home!  Here are some of our favorites.
Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine
I’m Smiling On The Inside Face Masks
iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer
iProvèn Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector
No-Touch Door Opener, Button Pusher Tool
Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor
PhoneSoap 3 UV Smartphone Sanitizer
Sony Tie-Clip-Style Omnidirectional Microphone
Total Gym APEX G5 Total Body Strength Training
Zacurate Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
For a book’s worth of tips and tools on getting your stuff backed up and together, pick up a copy of our book “Back It Up” in paperback or via instant download.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!

Back It Up
I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music. But grabbing piles of photo albums and all your picture frames off the walls is pretty hard to do when you’re running out the door! With Back It Up, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, music (including vinyl & cassettes) and save them in multiple, disaster proof locations. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep Everything You Love Safe | The Book Inspired By The Blog

Keep Everything You Love Safe, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible. Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order. Paperback Or Instant Download

Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are
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