EverPresent: Photo & Video Organization

EverPresent: Photo & Video Organization

Guest Blog: Make 2015 the year you organize your photos and videos

Photos and videos are often a source of stress when they should be a source of enjoyment.  80% of families never download new photos and videos from their phones and cameras.  There are over 1 trillion older photos, slides, albums and home movies that are not yet in a digital format.  As a working mother with two kids under four years old and relatives all across the country in sole possession of generations of family history, I can speak first hand to how difficult it is to document the best moments and share with family, despite the best of intentions.

EverPresent: Photo & Video Organization

My company, EverPresent (www.everpresentonline.com), is based in Newton Upper Falls, and we are doing our best to help families with their photos and videos.  We have created 47 new jobs in the last three years, so it is pretty clear our family was not alone in our struggle to keep track of family memories!  Mia was kind enough to invite us to answer some of the most common questions we hear from families.

EverPresent: Photo & Video Organization

1)      How do I pick what old memories to preserve?

  1. First, think about your whole family.  You may be most interested in scanning photo albums of your children, but your children will be most interested in old home films of you as a kid.  Try to find a balance.
  2. Think about what you would be most upset to lose.  You may have 20,000 photos to sort through, but that shouldn’t delay you from getting your wedding VHS tapes or baby albums scanned. You’ll feel much better just by getting started.
  3. Don’t be a perfectionist. Some of our clients scan everything they have. Others carefully select and organize everything.  It’s not a question of right or wrong, but rather one of how you want to spend your time.

Everpresent

2)      If I have old memories in multiple versions, how do I decide which to preserve?

  1. PHOTO SCANNING: If you have negatives, slides and prints, slides are usually the best bet.  They tend to have kept their color the best and had the least damage overall.  They also have rich resolution, allowing for better re-printing.  If you only have negatives and prints, which is more common, we usually recommend scanning photos.  While negatives do allow larger re-prints, scanning prints is much more economical and perfectly adequate for viewing photos on a computer.  They are also easier to organize.
  2. VIDEO CONVERSION: If you have old film reels and VHS tapes of the same content, it is a tougher decision.  Film reel digitizing technology has improved in the last decade, while old tapes have been degrading faster than the original reels.  So if quality is your number one concern, going back to the original 8mm, Super8 or 16mm films is the best option.  However, transferring the VHS tapes can be 80% less expensive, and for what is likely grainy old content in many cases, can be perfectly adequate.

3)      How do I begin to organize my digital collection?

  1. First, get everything in one place on one computer.  If you try to organize on individual devices, you will end up having to repeat yourself.
  2. Second, create a backup of everything before you get started.  You can use the cloud, a hard drive or a disc.  This will reduce the stress of your organizing efforts because you know if you make a mistake, you can always go back.
  3. Third, do not try to organize and prioritize at the same time.  It is faster to take one spin through deleting or removing content you don’t want anymore—and then going through again to organize.
  4. Fourth, set up a realistic organizing scheme.  If you try to turn your family memories into the Library of Congress, you will never get through it.  Think about what really matters to your family, and what you would want to be able to find a decade from now, and start there.
  5. Fifth, when photo organizing, don’t just rely on folders, which can get very cumbersome over the years.  Learn about tagging capabilities so that you can search for photos within folders at the click of a button.

4)      How to I keep my data safe?

  1. While there is nothing wrong with CDs and DVDs, we do not recommend solely relying on them.  Many new computers do not have disc players anymore, and playable movie DVDs cannot be edited or dragged and dropped on your computer.
  2. It is important to have at least one copy of all of your family memories away from your home.  Whether that’s in the cloud or on an external hard drive you keep somewhere safe, the key to backup is redundancy.

 

The majority of families have a strong set of insurance policies, investment plans and a responsible will.  But too few have taken the time to plan how to pass on their stories and history, or be organized enough in the moment to allow photos and videos to enrich their lives.  Consider making 2015 the year you get control of your photos and videos.  And if you need any advice, the Newton-based team at EverPresent can be reached any time at 617-505-1132 or www.everpresentonline.com.

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