A plan to make prints

blog framed family photos

There's a lot of things we know we should do, or that we'd like to do, but life always seems to get in the way. Somehow we just never seem to get around to it. Now, if you've been following along, you know that we're taking a look at how to make sure our digital pictures will still be around in the future. Last time we talked about how making prints is the simplest way to get started. (If you haven’t read the blog post yet, you can check it out here to catch up)

We asked for your thoughts, and we got some great responses! This one is one of my favorites:

This Christmas, my son was amazed at the pictures his great-grandmother has on her family room wall – she has wonderful old photos of family members. And it was so amusing to tell him that no, that isn’t daddy, but his daddy’s dad or even his grandpa’s dad (they all look so much the same)!

But no, I don’t print regularly. For me, it’s mostly time. I fell behind when my son was a baby, and now catching up is so overwhelming (not to mention hard with a little one who doesn’t sit still!) and leaves me too exhausted at the end of the day to do it then.

ps – I’m really glad you are doing this – I just found out that even external hard drives might only last about 5 years, so my winter project was already to get printing and organizing!
  — Diana

This is something I hear over and over again. We know why it’s important to make prints. For Diana, something as simple as sharing those family pictures with her son is priceless. If those photos were to just sit on a hard drive for years, they could disappear forever. But if you’ve got a whole lot of photos that you’ve never printed, how do you get started? First, don’t feel bad – this is a really common problem!

It’s easy to look at all those photos and get overwhelmed. And that makes it easy to put it off until another day. But it doesn’t have to be a big project, this is something you can do a little bit at a time. In fact, it’s far easier to make a few prints regularly than to let them pile up and try to do it all at once.

Now, if we’re going to tackle this project we’re going to need a plan. So I’m giving you a challenge to take action right now – but just a little.

Try this: today, go and pick out just 10 photos and make prints. Maybe they’re from last month, maybe they’re from a year ago, just pick 10. Don’t put it on a to-do list, just do it today while you’re still thinking about it. Do it right now if you can. Then – this is the important part – take a couple of those pictures and mail them off to somebody who would like them.

Why is that part important? Well, have you ever noticed that sometimes it’s easier to do something for someone else than for yourself? I know I can keep putting off personal projects, but as soon as somebody else is involved it becomes much more important. So I came up with a way to trick my brain into getting those prints done without procrastination. After all, it’s not really much more work to print a dozen photos than it is to print just one. So by telling myself I need to print that photo for my sister or my aunt, I manage to make time to get a few of my own prints finished too!

Give it a shot. Pick out just 10 photos, and order prints.

Then give a couple away – and when you think about how much they’ll appreciate getting a few pictures in the mail, you’ll want to do it again! So mark it on your calendar and do it next month. Keep a regular schedule and stay in the habit. I’ve found that once I get into a routine it doesn’t feel like a chore anymore. And remember that you don’t have to make a big project of it, just print a few pictures. Bit by bit, you can chip away at that big backlog of photos and get prints made of the ones you really enjoy. And by sharing a few with friends & family, you can spread the enjoyment and stay motivated to keep at it.

Ok, you’ve got pictures, and you’ve got a plan. What do you think, are you ready to give it a try? Do you have another trick to stay motivated on your photo projects that you’d like to share with us? Or have you run into other problems that get in the way? Get in touch and let us know, either by email or on our Facebook page. We read every message, and look forward to hearing from you!

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This entry was tagged photo, tips, preservation and posted on January 28, 2015

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