While a personal loss of photos and albums prompted me to think seriously about deciding to digitize my photos, that is not the only reason to save your photos by scanning. Technology driven changes in our lifestyle demands digitizing for 5 reasons.
Ease of Access to Media
My daughter, can look up anything instantly on her phone. In the future, this trend will accelerate. From government records to movie stars’ birthdays, the answer is seconds away. Information is at her fingertips whether she is here in Madison, WI or abroad.
The days of opening books and encyclopedias are gone. It’s very unlikely that my daughter would look for photos in albums. She would not find my photos online, unless, I save them there for her.
Entire Books Stuffed Onto Kindle
Our Children don’t carry books anymore. Instead they carry tablets with books inside. With a minimalist attitude towards physical things, I doubt albums from the shelves of my mother would find a place on shelves in my children’s houses. Albums would crowd their space.
Photographs and albums were part of our everyday life, but this isn’t the case for future generations. To save the memories in our photographs they need to be digitized. That is why we formed this company, to provide you a photo scanning service.
Searchable Keywords Eliminate Time Spent Organizing
The best way to find digital information is to type in the search box or google it. Access is instantaneous.
We can search a collection of thousands of photos for any keyword or a combination of keywords, to find any picture. Access is flexible.
In contrast, retrieving pictures of Grandma from physical albums is a problem because she is in every one of those albums covering 98 years of her life. Collecting pictures to create an album of her life would be a strenuous task, it would also leave grandma missing in the original albums.
The likelihood that our children browsing through dozens of albums to collect photographs of a person is slim to none. Even more worrisome, many youth see the boxes of albums and photos as a burden to “get rid of”, and that is what many do.
If we digitize our photos and add keywords or metadata to the photographs, we offer our children a gift that will keep our memories alive. It will also encourage them to add to the collection and grow it forever.
Facial Recognition Software to Gather People Easily
I have several pictures of people that I do not recognize. These older studio photographs in the collection of family photos suggest that they may be related to me, but I have no way of knowing.
There are several programs that will identify faces and group together, faces that belong to a person. For example, in the picture shown below, Picasa (a software program now called Google Photos) identified 267 pictures in which this little girl appeared. We can identify the face once as “Pepper”, and the program connects her name to every photo she is in. We do not have to write “Pepper’s” name on each of the 267 pictures. In future, if I need to find Pepper’s picture for her birthday, I type her name and all 267 pictures of Pepper appear. I can create an album of Pepper’s life within seconds, that I can use for a slideshow or a picture-book.
These pictures once identified with names can be searched by any criterion you chose. Along with the keywords, you can easily find pictures of a trip, a wedding or birthday.
If we intend to bequeath family photographs we must make the pictures accessible and identifiable. Given the technology at our fingertips, there is no excuse not to digitize and identify people.
Sharing Digital Media is Super Easy, but You Knew That
Physical pictures are very limiting. To share a photograph, I need to get prints made for each person, and mail them. If we do not have the negative, we start by scanning or photographing the picture before getting it printed. It is a cumbersome process to share physical pictures.
In contrast, we can share scanned pictures instantly from myriads of photo-management programs or social networking sites.
With today’s technology and digitized photography, we can share pictures with extended family. This results could connect us with family members we never knew we had! Think of the legacy this leaves in the lives of our children.
If freed from the physical confines, the scanned photos are easy to share with friends and family. Access to those shared photos and memories would be a reminder of what bonds us together.
I recently shared this picture of Main Street, Anytown, USA from 1920s which meant little to me. Until it was seen on the family website by a relative who knew this photo was taken in 1929 in Barrington, IL, where my maternal grandmother accepted a teaching position. Voila!