With the recent passing of both my grandparents, I've had the hard task of going through their belongings. I've acquired a collection of truly amazing heritage photos in the process. Photos I want to preserve but also scrapbook and document about.
As I've been going through these photos and starting to document them, I've discovered a few tips and tricks along the way and thought I would share them with you.
1) Scan and digitize your photos! Some of my originals are in serious rough shape.. many are from as early as 1930. For the originals, I want to preserve them, so I purchased simple archival save sleeves and boxes to store them in. To digitize my photos I simply used my iPhone 8 Plus and snapped a nice, close up photo of the photo. The great thing about today's technology is that this gave me a high resolution copy of the photo easily. You can also then pull your photo into Photoshop to touch up any squidgy bits or lighting issues.
2) Journaling - many of my photos were taken way, way, way before I was born, so keep the journaling to vital statistics and how the people in the photo are related to you. Maybe a small sentence that says how you feel about the photo (ex: I love my grandmother's dress in this picture). We are often told to journal more than the who, what, where, but with photos like this, the who, what, where is the info everyone will want.
3) Choose products carefully - your photos will look odd paired with bright, modern, fresh, products. I like to use soft, light colors to offset the harsh black and white colors in most heritage photos and choose products with a vintage feel. For this layout I chose products from Prima's Fruit Paradise collection because many of the icons and designs "felt" like the right timeframe of the photo. Notice the products are vintage in feel, but not grungy looking or dark. It's hard to strike a good balance in this regard but I feel like this collection does it beautifully!
You can see my process in my video here:
I'd love to hear your tips, tricks, ideas, and product suggestions for heritage photos as well... I still have quite a few here to scrapbook!
- Design Team Member Sarah Mishler
I am a genealogist and work with my daughter who also is a genealogist. We read your comments and many are very helpful. However somewhere on your layout...on the front or back...please list the names of the persons in the photo...and if you don't know their full names please write that down also. I saw you called your grandma Imogene. But if I saw your layout and photo I would want to know her last name. If you have a scanner I would use that for best quality. I use an Epson and have saved all the heritage photos at 600 dpi. They have printed nicely and I also use Photoshop Elements to fix the problem photos or to color them, etc. This has proved to be a good way to share on Ancestry.com and at reunions. Thank you for sharing your work. I also recommend that you file the originals in an archival safe box. There are many companies who sell them online. I like Lineco and Century or storage that is archival safe and will preserve those precious memories. The boxes at Michaels, etc. are not truly archival safe and you should avoid those for old photos. Kudos for preserving your heritage for generations to come! Believe it or not many photos end up in antique stores. It is so sad to see. I also scrapbook my heritage photos although I must admit not often as I have 2 terabytes of current photos to sort through and scrapbook. It would take a village to get this done. Unfortunately I only have me, my daughter Lauren and my two granddaughters who are 13 and love scrapping photos taken since they were born...haha! You have encouraged me to take a week sometime in late summer or autumn to do my Daddy's photos and perhaps some of Mama's too. If I don't get them done I will choose a week later in winter to work on them again...until they are done. I don't have thousands of photos and none of my Mama when she was a child. The first photo I have of her is either at 14 or 16. But I am encouraged to make them into pleasant layouts. In the archival boxes they are certainly rather dull to look at.