We Are a People of Stories

Photos should be organized and accessible. 

Some of today’s guests had arranged their photo prints in albums so they could easily view them. We could only wonder how many of the other guests spent hours searching through drawers and boxes to find the photos they needed.  An effective structure of organization is the foundation of photo management. 

Photos need protection from aging. 

We saw many photos that had turned yellow or had faded significantly.  Photo prints should be preserved in acid-free and lignin-free albums or photo archive boxes.

Scan photo prints so they can be added to your digital library. 

The production team scanned each of the guest’s pictures so the resulting digital images could be used in the broadcast version of the show, and they gave the guests a flash drive containing their images.  When you scan your prints, they can be combined with the rest of your digital library and backed up for long-term safety.

Store details about the photo’s subject along with the print. 

Yesterday’s guests knew their family history and the details about the photos they chose for their interview because they, or their ancestors, took the time to record those details.  Be sure you’ve written key information on the back of your most important photos (with a photo safe pen/pencil) so you don’t leave your descendants guessing.

Use a professional resource to guide you through your photo frustration.

Many of today’s guests admitted they had “lots and lots” of photos at home in various stages of disarray. Cathi Nelson (APPO founder) presented each of them with an autographed copy of her book, “Photo Organizing Made Easy. . . Going From Overwhelmed to Overjoyed.”  If you are the do-it-yourself type, this book would be a valuable tool.

Walter Peterson brought an extensive family photograph and old camera collection. Photo courtesy of Anna Bejerano.

If you aren’t the DIY type, a professional photo organizer would be your best resource to make sense out of your photo clutter.

Photos should be enjoyed and shared with others. 

 We were delighted to observe the expressions on the faces of yesterday’s guests as they shared their photos with others and recalled memories of their loved ones.  The sense of belonging, family pride, heritage and love was so evident as they told their stories.  And, isn’t that one of the primary reasons we take photos – to bring to the forefront of our memory, as time goes by, people, emotions, events, and relationships that have meaning to us?  Take the time to “walk down memory lane” with your photos as often as possible.  Better yet, make it a family experience!

APPO Members with Thomas Allen Harris
Left to right: Cathi Nelson, Kristen Goodman, Thomas Allen Harris, Signe Pagel, and Danielle Studer.

We are excited to see how APPO and Family Pictures USA can work together to communicate the importance of family storytelling through pictures. The Family Pictures USA team will be in at least three other U.S. cities soon to interview more people about their family stories for the series that will air on PBS stations next summer. Our APPO representatives will be available in those cities as well.

If you would like information about how to apply for an appointment in one of the upcoming cities, or information about the television series, please visit  familypicturesusa.com or on Facebook: Family Pictures USA.  If you would like information on how to get in touch with a local professional photo organizer, go to www.APPO.org.

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