Both of those considerations are very important, but there's one more that you may not think about. And yet, that one other factor could be the difference between your photo collection being considered a treasured heirloom or being simply disregarded as a heap of stuff.
So what is it that could have such a drastic impact on the value of your photo collection? Simply put, it's the memories that go along with pictures! Taking the time to journal the details of the people, places and events surrounding the images is what will create a collection to be treasured.
Have a look at this beautiful poem by Pam Harazim of East Hampton, Connecticut
Strangers in The Box
Come, look with me inside this drawer,
In this box I've often seen,
At the pictures, black and white,
Faces proud, still, and serene.
I wish I knew the people,
These strangers in the box,
Their names and all their memories,
Are lost among my socks.
I wonder what their lives were like,
How did they spend their days?
What about their special times?
I'll never know their ways.
If only someone had taken time,
To tell who, what, where and when,
These faces of my heritage,
Would come to life again.
Could this become the fate,
Of the pictures we take today?
The faces and the memories,
Someday to be passed away?
Take time to save your stories,
Seize the opportunity when it knocks,
Or someday you and yours,
Could be strangers in the box.
That's something to think about, isn't it? But how do you get started capturing your memories?
- Although we DON'T recommend it, you could write directly on the back of your photographs. If you decide to go this route, then you need to do this very carefully, with photo safe materials. (A word of warning: Never write on the back of a photograph with a ballpoint pen!)
- You could keep a journal to record your family's growth and memories along the way and then store the journal with your photographs. It's a start, because at least there will be some details, but it doesn't really allow you to match specific pictures with documentation.
- Scrapbooking is another option. You would be able to journal directly on your album pages right alongside of your photographs, which would certainly enable you to record the memories that go along with specific photographs. Or considerdigital scrapbooking if you aren't into the actual scrapbooking process.
- Lastly, consider acid-free, lignin-free photo envelopes where you can sort your photos and capture the memories that went along with them.