A Tale of 3 Moms and their digital photos
Recently I took a Mom/Daughter road trip to St. Louis, MO with 2 other Mom/Daughter duos to visit our dear friends that moved there a few years ago. It was a blast. On our last night, we were sitting around (maybe with a glass of Prosecco) and started talking about the photo madness in their lives and…
Wait…first let me introduce you to these beautiful moms…
Mom #1, let’s call her Brooke. Brooke is actually a past client of mine. We’ve worked on her collection and I can confidently say that her collection looks great up through the end of that project a few years ago. Even she would admit that she hasn’t done a great job maintaining it. But here’s the thing, she did the hardest work a few years ago. Once you get that far, updating is a piece of cake. My biggest worry for her is (I say this with all the love), she hasn’t done a great job backing up her phone, which holds most of her memories from the past few years. Probably one of the most common challenges that people have.
Mom #2, let’s call her Sarah. Again, I say this with so much love, I don’t think Sarah knew what she was missing until we started this conversation. She doesn’t take a ton of photos, and I don’t think she’s spent much time even thinking about her pics. She works full-time, travels quite a bit, and has 2 busy kids. Her photos just haven’t been that much of a priority. I am an absolutely judgment-free photo organizer, so hearing her say her photos haven’t been a priority didn’t really phase me. I hear it a lot. But then…Sarah got to experience some photo magic.
Mom #3, let’s call her Danielle. Danielle and I have been talking about her photos for years. In the past few years, she lost an external hard drive that held much of her photo collection. Luckily, she has been able to recover most of it from other sources, but I say this with all the love…her systems and her organizing process need work. She has photos in an old iPhoto library on an old Mac, but now uses a PC. She also has photos on her phone and another external hard drive. Her photos need consolidation, deduplication and organization…but here’s the deal, this woman’s house is beyond tidy. She is probably the most organized person I know AND she’s super smart, but this photo issue gives her hives (not really, but close). She gets visibly tense over it. She is a classic client of mine in the sense that she is very organized, but is having a difficult time navigating photo technology.
Can you relate with any of these moms? Are you a Brooke, a Sarah or a Danielle?
After some really funny conversations about where each of them were at with their photos, we started talking about what we do with them. And then the photo magic happened…Danielle walks upstairs and pulls out 5 absolutely, positively, gorgeous digital albums that she has made each year as a ‘year in review’ for her family. We all start looking through the albums and the most amazing conversations begin. We found pics of all of our families and relived so many beautiful memories. There were tears, there were stories, there was laughter and there were jokes from my friends about all of the hearts being touched (they know that’s my thing).
None of these moms have unique situations, which is why it’s so good to talk about it. You are not alone and as moms, we need to shake off this crazy guilt that we have over ‘not doing enough’ with our pictures. Here are some things we can learn from these beautiful moms:
1. Once you get it organized (like Brooke did a few years ago), if you do it right…even when you fall behind…it’s not that hard to get caught up. You just need to commit to doing it.
2. Backup remains the biggest challenge for everyone. Just remember, external hard drives get lost, phones fall in lakes and computer hard drives crash…and none of this happens when it’s convenient. Backup should be your number one priority.
3. You don’t have to be a crazy photo person to love reliving memories. After seeing Danielle’s albums, Sarah left the weekend ready to start making annual photo books for her family. Getting organized will make that easier. If you are going to create albums of past years, I recommend starting with last year and work backwards.
4. Photo technology stumps even the most organized and smartest people. Unfortunately, moving photos between devices and computers is sometimes tricky and scary because of all the different types of technology. However, getting everything into one place and into an organization structure will save you time and headaches. Danielle’s hives will go away once she gets everything into one place and lets a system do some of the work for her.
5. Did you notice that even though Danielle’s organization system needs some work, she still created all of these amazing keepsakes for her family? She isn’t letting the technology win. Would it have been easier and taken her less time to create the albums had everything been organized and tidy? Probably. But she didn’t let that stop her and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s about…getting photos in people’s hands to relive the memories. She definitely touched our hearts this weekend.