Taking Better (Scarier?) Halloween Photos

How many of your Halloween photos have washed-out faces? Red-eye (where there shouldn’t be any red eyes!)

Maybe even overexposed or underexposed … and you just don’t know what to do?

halloween

Photo credit: BEE FREE – PGrandicelli [the social bee]

HERE’S A FEW TIPS to help you bring out the creativity and avoid some common pitfalls this Halloween.
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Kristy McClenagan, Personal Photo Organizer

Photo Organizing with Albums

Photo credit: Emery Co Photo

As a professional photo organizer, I do more than just file and sort your photos. I help you:

  • Gain control of the clutter.
  • Organize your images.
  • Digitize and scan old media.
  • Create backup systems for digital photo storage.
  • Create photo management archiving systems.
  • Create albums, photo books, slideshows, custom photo gifts, scrapbooks, displays, cards and more.

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3 Steps to Digitizing and Archiving Your Lifetime of Memories

Flat-bed Scanner.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Over the years you’ve taken so many photos– mom and dad enjoying retirement, children’s weddings, grandchildren’s births and birthdays, your own school years, friends who make you laugh and, of course, those who have passed on, plus so many more.

And over the years, technology has changed in how to take photos as well as how to store them – enter the digital age! If you’re like most, you’ve probably got stacks of printed photos and folders of digitized photos.
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Scrapbooking Slideshows Save Memories

Photograph of Beatrice Kerr wearing an Austral...

Photo credit: Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons

Scrapbooks are a great way to capture those special moments in you and your family’s lives. A place to tell a story about your child’s school-age years, your first home, and the best times with your best friend.

Today, baby boomers enjoy putting the story together not just of their children, but also of their parents and grandparents – how they met, where they came from, history of the time and more – so their children and grandchildren know more about their heritage.

Unfortunately, over time, scrapbooks deteriorate, suffering bent or torn pages, memorabilia coming unglued and photographs starting to yellow and fade. When the time comes to pass these books along to your children or other loved ones you may no longer have a nice, clean book of memories; it may be dusty, aged and somewhat fragile.
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Ready for Virtual Immortality?

Never really thought of it like this before, but with today’s tools and technology we are moving to more of a “virtual immortality.”

Instead of our great grandchildren and beyond having to try to decipher some sort of diary or figure out who’s who in a bunch of photos, more people – especially baby boomers – are organizing their photos to tell a story. Stories that can then be captured on video and stored on media such as DVDs.
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How do you store Sentimental “Clutter”?

Experiments with direction of flesh light. Fle...

Can a photo replace that special teddy bear? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I came across this article – Reduce Sentimental Clutter by Photographing Your Memories – and it made me stop and think.

The basic idea is that we tend to hold onto the physical items that evoke memories. Maybe it’s that teddy bear stored in a box in the basement your brother gave you. Or that first Valentine’s card from your husband or child.

Whatever the item, the question is do you need it? The physical item is just collecting dust or taking up space. Can you take a picture of the item and let the real thing go just to reduce clutter?
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Memories Should Last a Lifetime

Most people aren’t looking to become a “professional” when it comes to organizing and storing photos.

Negative strip

Negative strip
(Photo credit: aftab.)

But for some, it’s nice to know a little more beyond the basics.

  • Archival boxes, the “protectors” of your memories, come in two sizes. Flip-top boxes, as you can imagine, have an attached lid. Rectangular, flat boxes don’t. Both are reinforced with metal edges.
  • If you have empty space in your boxes get some spacer boards. These help keep your photo files stable and straight. You definitely want these if your files are vertical within the box. Too much space lets your photo files bow and bend, which can cause permanent damage.
  • When storing photos and even other paper-based documents, be sure your protective sleeves are Mylar® or polypropylene. These don’t contain any harmful chemicals and keep your photos dust and dirt-free.
  • Using file folders can add another level of organization as you organize and store your photos.
  • If you add paper to separate or group your photos, be sure it’s acid-free or “buffered.” Acid in paper speeds up the deterioration process. Standard paper turns yellow, whereas you can get archival paper with a life of 500 years or more.
  • Soft-bristled brushes are best to clear away dust or debris that might have collected on your photos. Of course, keep brushes clean so you don’t transfer the dust from one photo to another.
  • Best practice is to use cotton gloves when handling photos, negatives or slides.
  • Ever try to remove staples carefully from your photos? Or remove that old tape? Try using an archival spatula (yes, I said spatula!). Because they are thin it makes it easy to remove these unwanted materials.
  • Have you written details on the back of a photo only to have it smear or rub off on your own hands? Get some special pencils – archival pencils – that are non-toxic, waterproof and identified as being for archival use.

What would you add to this list?

What level of preservation do you want for your photos?

Part of organizing is deciding how you want to store your photos.

Kodak Negative Album - Back Inside Cover and L...

Negative Album (Photo credit: Enokson)

As you go through this process, think about whether you need to keep “special” photos easily accessible, meaning you may need a combination of storage options.

What to keep in mind:

  1. With larger collections, an economical, but shorter-term solution could be “banker’s boxes,” which are available at most office supply stores.
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3 Steps to Managing Your Time Organizing Photos

If you take lots of photos throughout the year, it may be easier to start organizing the most recent photos …

Get your system in place … and then go back to your older photos.

Adoramapix Photobook Review

Adoramapix Photobook Review (Photo credit: Richard.Fisher)

If you’re more task-based or time-based, you may want your system set up so that you do certain tasks at set time intervals throughout the year. For instance:

  1. Upload photos from all cameras AND your phone on a WEEKLY basis.Immediately sort them into categories – such as Christmas, 16th Birthday Party, Lake Vacation – that make sense to you. A common mistake is over sorting; this creates clutter in your photo library making it harder to find what you want.
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