Remember the days of film photography? At its peak, Kodak announced that people took 80 billion photos in 2000. According to InfoTrends, consumers will take 1.2 trillion photos in 2017. No longer displayed on walls or stored in photo albums, these digital photos will be kept on smartphones or filed on hard drives.
So what do you do with all your non-digital photos scattered throughout the house in shoeboxes and bound albums and all digital photos you’ve taken but haven’t looked at in years?
First, you need to get everything in one place. Convert outdated media into viewable formats, scan your prints and slides — but don’t toss the originals! — and organize your digital photos on your computer using Google Photos, a photo sharing and storage service developed by Google that gives users free, unlimited storage for photos up to 16 megapixels and backs up photos to the cloud service.
If that sounds too overwhelming, the Association of Personal Photo Organizers can connect you with a certified photo organizer who can help you with everything from developing a system to sort and organize your photos to creating digital photo albums and video slideshows to installing backup systems.
Once you have your photos organized, protect the digital files by backing them up. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team suggests following the 3-2-1 rule:
- 3: Keep three copies of any important file: one primary and two backups.
- 2: Keep the files on two different media types to protect against different types of hazards.
- 1: Store one copy off-site (e.g., outside your home).
Now’s the fun part: showcasing your best shots and your favorite memories. Make a photo book. Create a video slideshow of your photos. Make wall-size photo prints on traditional canvases. Turn your photos into everything from wrapping paper to phone cases to jewelry. Share your best images on Facebook or Instagram.