Photo Refuge was established a couple of years ago, and I have been reflecting on its evolution the past few months. Not only does my personal business continue to evolve, but the photo organizing industry as a whole experiences frequent change. Software, applications, services, products, and technologies – businesses that photo organizers depend upon – are constantly exiting and entering the market and modifying pricing and services.
A client with aging parents is working to catalog and store family photographic memories while her mother and father are still able to remember details about various images. When she showed me the family albums of her parents, the memories of my own family’s brown and blue albums from the same time period came rushing back.
I recently worked with a client who has enjoyed creating scrapbooks for years. She continues to make scrapbooks in this digital age. How can digitization supplement and support such efforts? There are steps to take, before scrapbook creation and after, that will help preserve both individual images and the stories that scrapbook pages are designed to tell.
Is video part of your vacation memories toolbox? I advocate for video as a supplement to online photo galleries, photo books, and printed photos. The ability to capture voices, antics, and movement is unique to the video format. With some basic training to help you efficiently navigate iMovie, you’ll find it is easy to create a comprehensive video story from a series of clips, taken on a variety of devices. You can add audio (music or specific sounds), transitions, titles, and credits. Splitting clips and editing out unwanted content is straightforward.
So often, photos tell the stories of people through the decades. Objects have stories too. This chair has seen people come and go, holidays, and pets. Off and on for decades, it was paired with what my mother always called the “drum table.” It has had multiple homes and “worn” four different fabrics. As of December 2017, I became its owner. The chair has been with my family for at least 60 years; this is only part of its story.
I have encountered clear film impacting photos and negatives several times in recent months, working with client materials and with my own. If you have albums and negatives from the 1990s, make time to examine them. Take action now if clear film from that decade is beginning to ripple and adhere to your negatives and prints.
In recent months, I have worked on two client projects to digitize 35mm slides. Both involve 1980s slides that benefit from color restoration and occasional backlight correction. Both involve family events, holidays, and trips. One client limited her slide scanning to 133 images. Another client has elected to scan over 900 slides so far.
I do like projects with variety. One recently completed photo organization project offered plenty:
- 1,200 prints (including 4×6, panoramic, 8×10, wallet, and other sizes)
- 175 loose negative strips
- 3 CDs with mystery images
- 70 prints stuck to each other (also a mystery)
- 200 prints stuck to film in an album
- 3 Kodak Advantix film canisters with more mystery images
I recently had a client with 175 negative strips as part of her photo collection. Some were grouped in plastic sleeves from the developer (Rite Aid, Eckerd). Some had white handling tabs attached to them. And many were just…loose. How was I going to tackle the sorting of the loose strips? My ultimate goal was to recreate the film rolls of which they were a part (so that I could match them to existing prints or to contact sheets).
There is much advice on the internet regarding how to address prints stuck to stuff. How one should proceed depends on the age of the photos, what they are stuck to, whether they are the only record, and how precious they are. If they are stuck, they are already damaged. The goal will be to minimize any further damage as they are separated from whatever they are attached to.