What You Should Do With Your Old Printed Photographs

by Mark Sharron

Printed photographs can seem like items from a lifetime ago. These days, everyone just relies on their phones to capture moments and then store them digitally. However, every now and then you may stumble across a box of old images.

It is only once you take a moment to peruse through them that you will truly understand their value. Printed photographs aren’t just souvenirs of the past. They are also gentle and wonderful reminders of times that you may have forgotten.

At the same time, such discoveries do mean that you are left with piles of printed images and no idea of what to do with them. Well, if you are stuck for ideas, here are some of the things that you can do:

Ditch the Bad Ones

Yes, the first thing you need to do is actually sort through your old images and ditch certain ones. This may seem rather heartbreaking at first, but you will quickly realize that there are many nonsensical pictures in your collection.

Considering that camera technology wasn’t all that great back then, you may find several blurry shots. Not to mention, you may also discover images of random backgrounds. Furthermore, it isn’t uncommon to come across pictures of complete strangers.

In short, if the images don’t have any sentimental value, aren’t telling a story, or are just plain bad, feel free to get rid of them. This will give you the opportunity to focus on the ones that are really important.

Digitize the Images

Printed photographs won’t last forever – no matter how well you store them. Thus, it is important to promptly digitize them. This way, you can have a copy of your favorite pictures to show future generations.

Now, there are several options available to you if you wish to digitize your images. The first involves using a high-quality scanner to scan the images. A scanner has the advantage of allowing you to upload and save several images at once, cutting down on the effort involved.

You also have the option of taking digital photographs and then uploading these to your computer. Naturally, this is a more time-consuming process. However, you do have more control over what the resulting images look like.

If you want to get high-tech, then you can simply download an app that allows you to capture the images on your phone more quickly. You should be warned that this method may not result in the highest resolution, however.

Clean the Images Up

One of the benefits of digitizing your images is that you can actually restore them to their original quality. After all, most printed pictures will end up with scratches, watermarks, and other signs of damage if they are not stored well.

Fortunately, there are services such as InstaRestoration – Photo Restoration & Repair that you can consult. These experts will help you restore different elements of your pictures. Thus, the images will be clearer and you will be able to see more details. Not to mention, any type of damage can be erased or fixed up for you.

What’s great about this option is that the restored and digitized images can be used for a number of purposes. You can place them in artwork, use them for clothing, and even make mugs out of them. The possibilities are endless!

Gather Information

It is possible that many of the photographs in your possession were actually taken years before you were born. Thus, you may not recognize or remember the people or the setting. However, if it is relevant to your family or life story, it is time to do some homework.

Your first point of contact should be older relatives. You can meet them in person or email the images to them. Even if they can’t identify the images, they should be able to point you in the right direction and show you where to look next.

If all else fails, do some online sleuthing. You can use various details in the images such as the style of dress or hair, or even landmarks to learn more about the photos.

Don’t just keep this information to yourself, however. Make sure to label each image properly, complete with any details that you have uncovered. This will be especially useful for future generations, especially since there may be no one around to explain the contents of the pictures.

Store the Photos Well

Now, naturally, you are going to want to display all these printed photographs. So, your next order of business will be to decide which ones will be going up around your home and which ones will be placed away.

Once you have decided which images are going into storage, you will need to make sure that they are being kept safely. Remember, if you want your pictures to last, you need to store them well. Otherwise, they will deteriorate with time.

These days, you can find specialized albums and photo boxes. They often contain acid-free paper to ensure that the images are kept under the right conditions. You will need to place these image-filled items in a cool, dry, and dark place as well.

Avoid randomly placing the images in the boxes or the albums. Instead, take time to sort them out according to date. In case the exact date isn’t available, sort the images by decade or a similar timeline. This allows you to be a little more cohesive with your organizing process.

Get Creative

So, what about the images that you do want to display around the house? Well, it is entirely up to you how you want to go about doing so. There are so many different ways that you can show off these pictures. From collages to ornaments, the options really are endless.

In the end, it is best to opt for a method that goes well with your interior décor. After all, while you are displaying older images, you still want them to look like they belong in their surroundings. Apart from this, you can be as creative as you want.

This is what you can do with old printed photographs. So, if you do come across images of a bygone era, don’t toss them out just yet. Instead, check out the above guidelines and determine what you can do with them.

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