Gift Idea #28 – Duplicate Old Family Photos

idea numbers28A really nice gift to share with family is their own copy of the best family photos. My mom did this for us one year. She had enlargements made of a family group shot from her childhood and from my dad’s. If you want to make it really nice you could a frame so that it is ready to go on display.

Having up pictures of ancestors or family members when they were much younger helps to connect the generations and create opportunities to share who they are. Name plaques would be a nice addition to the project.

Gift Idea #5 – Collection of Family Photos

Most families have someone who is the keeper of the photos. Somehow that task has fallen to me. So last Christmas I gathered up the images I have. Scanned the ones that hadn’t been scanned. Then cleaned them up and label them consistently. I just did the ones connected with my mom’s parents from their childhood through their deaths. I cut DVD‘s for my mom’s siblings. For all of my cousins I sent a link to the SmugMug gallery that I set up with the same photos. That way they can get access to and download them as desired. This is a great project because it gives everyone access to those precious photos plus it distributes copies in more places to make sure they are preserved in case of disaster. An added bonus is that now they don’t have to come to me when they want a photo.

My advice on a project like this?

  • Pick a time frame. Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Make it something doable. You can always add to it later.
  • Pick a logical naming convention.
  • Make sure you scan them at 300 dpi or higher. If it is a really small photo I like to do 600 dpi or more so that it can be blown up larger than the original.
  • For long-term storage tiff is a better format than jpeg, because jpeg is a lossy compression and over time with opening and saving and opening and saving you lose data. But most people are more comfortable with jpegs. So you could scan as tiffs and then save a copy to jpeg for sharing with your family.
  • Find an easy way to distribute them among your family.