A whopping 3.5 trillion photos have been taken since the invention of the photograph 186 years ago. And it’s no wonder why — preserving memories and beautiful moments is one of the most amazing parts of being a human today. Sentimental and family photographs are so near and dear to our collective hearts, in fact, that nearly 24% of Americans said that family photos rated as their most valuable documented piece of information, beating out even Social Security cards and birth certificates.
For such valuable family heirlooms — things that will eventually become important heritage documentation — people do surprisingly little to preserve them and make them easier for their children to care for. Out of a survey of 250 parents, more than half said that they have not done anything with the photos or videos they had of their children in order to preserve them for the future.
Take precautions against the chance of losing — or losing track of — your family photographs, and check out these great ideas for restoring old photos and maintaining them forever:
1. Make Copies
If you still have the negatives from your film photos, use the opportunity to get second prints of them. This way, you can replace aged and faded photos with new copies, and even keep a second photo album in a different location. Consider keeping some of your most important photos in a safety deposit box with other important documents. Looking into a slide scan service is also a great idea — slides are hardier than negatives and can be used to view or reproduce your photos at any time.
2. Digitize Them
It’s time to get the photo album up to speed in this digital age. There are many services that offer old photo restoration and old photo digitization, and will compile some of your oldest memories online, to be easily shared and preserved forever. Restoring old photos before they are digitized can be very helpful Hold onto your hard copies, but rest easy that your pictures are safe on the Web.
3. Give Them As Gifts
This is a great way to preserve your photos — by passing them down. Give you children or grandchildren the gift of your memories in photo form by compiling a special album just for them and telling them stories from times past. It’s a great way to spend some quality family time and to strengthen the family bond.
Whether it’s the use of a slide scan service or the advice of a digitized photo service, restoring old photos is a great way to revisit the past by preparing for the future!