Family Photos: Whose Responsibility Is It?
By Eric Niloff
Whether you’re from a large family or not, deciding who is responsible for making sure your family photos are around for future generations can be a tough call. Each family is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this important project, and approaches can and should be mixed and matched depending on needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your family memories are preserved:
Going it alone is most efficient.
This might sound like a daunting task to some, but it offers a couple distinct advantages. For one thing, the majority of new photos are generally taken by one member of the family. Integrating vertically from taking photos to organizing to archiving is a more efficient process if one person handles it from start to finish. A solo approach is best when decisions should be made quickly, but beware that valuable perspectives can easily get lost in the process.
Divide and conquer if your family is spread out.
Maybe one family member takes all the photos, and someone else is responsible for organizing and archiving them. Neither is a simple task, but it’s easier when you have someone else who broadly understands your family photo collection so that some larger decisions can be made together or in groups. This approach is appropriate for larger, more spread out families. It can also be a good solution with larger collections.
Collaboration is key no matter what.
There is going to be an element of collaboration in any family when it comes to decisions about family photos. Questions like which family scrapbooks should be scanned or which cloud-based photo-viewing platform is easiest for everyone in the family to use lend themselves to getting multiple perspectives. Older generations will have much more knowledge about extended family than younger generations, and saving that information can be important and useful in the future. Collaboration can sometimes stall decision-making, but it should still be a part of consolidating every photo collection.
By employing these tips, you’ll build a family photo collection that can be handed down and enjoyed across generations.
About the author
Eric Niloff, the co-founder, and CEO of EverPresent, a team of 40 scanning technicians, digital organizers, designers and editors based in Newton, Massachusetts. Eric and his team help thousands of families every year to digitize, organize and share their family photos and videos. Eric writes and advises on how to make family history preservation part of family events, estate plans and other family moments.