Simple things, letters, cards, old family photos, or even a generational story shared around the table are some of the most prized possessions one can have. These collections may hold no monetary value but are precious and need utmost care.
Many households have piles of family photos tucked away for many reasons. In some cases, older relatives fear sharing pictures of departed loved ones with other family members, fearing to trigger grief. This is especially when the deaths were tragic. Many of the videos, photos, and documents are well kept away.
After some time, you realize that a photo showing four generations of family members in their home is precious. You can now transfer super 8 to a digital file thanks to technology. Below are ways to preserve valuable family content for future generations, like videos and photos.
Collect and Select the Photos and Videos
Though it may take a while, going through the photos one by one is crucial in preserving family photos for the next generations. Identify what is valuable in your possession, as everything has different intrinsic values. As you look at the images, think if they are items you would want to pass down to the next generations.
You may find some of the photos are duplicates or triplicates. Choose one of each photo that you wish to keep and do away with the others. You may want to share it with other family members or loved ones.
Also, videos may be unnecessarily prolonged or contain content you may want to remove. Listen through and watch out for each piece to determine whether to keep it.
Prioritize content with historical and emotional lasting resonance. Before you toss out anything, involve all the loved ones, as what you discard may be another person’s treasure.
It helps to identify the names of the people in a photo and possibly record more information. Also, mention the event or what they were doing in the image. Besides bringing a picture to life, good labeling is helpful to the next generations.
If some information needs to be added or added up, involve other family members or family friends to help you puzzle out the pieces of information you need. Labeling the photos connects generations that will never physically meet. You also need to name the videos by event and date.
Restore Where Possible
Software programs like Adobe Photoshop and modern techniques can help restore and retouch old photos. You can now preserve old photos by enhancing the images, sharpening content, and boosting color. In some cases, you may need to remove marks.
Professionals can also help you improve video quality by removing background noise and making the pictures clearer. Not all videos and pictures are redeemable, as some are beyond restoration. The goal is to save and restore what you can.
Choose Good Storage
Experts advise that you digitize photos, documents, letters, videos, and audio recordings but still save the originals. You can use an all-in-one printer, dedicated scanner, or even a smartphone to digitize printed materials.
Physical media degrades over time, and hardware becomes obsolete fast. Therefore, ensure you always have digital copies of your most treasured content in the most current storage media and formats. Transfer any files saved on CDs to your computer, an external hard drive, or a cloud, as CD players are less common.
For 8mm film reels initially converted to VHS, then to DVD, contact a professional that can import it digitally and enhance it if possible.
Back it Up
In this digital era, having a backup system is essential. You should always have copies of important files stored in at least three places: an external hard drive, a computer, and a cloud service.
Backed-up files ensure you are safe if your computer is stolen, dies, or damaged. Sharing the collection with the concerned people is another excellent way to preserve photos and videos. You can make the files accessible to others or through emails.
While preserving family photos and videos for the next generations, it is crucial to understand the traditions and stories behind the material. You should do some research and expand the story to add clarity.