Monday, July 15, 2013

11,000 photos in one to preserve those precious moments

For many of us, photos are among our most treasured possessions. They tell a story, capture special occasions and remind us of our moments from our past. For most of us, they are among the first possessions in our homes we would grab in an emergency. But times are changing and a lot of our photos now sit on computers, hard drives and mobile phones or even in the cloud.

I recently put together a digital slideshow to mark my dad's 60th birthday and I managed to track down a handful of his baby photos. I had Mum running around organising photos of my sister and I as babies and children to include as well. While working on this project it struck me how in just three generations the number of photos we take to capture moments in our lives -especially our first year of life has increased to a incredible amount. Instead of lugging a camera to celebrations, outings and events, most of us now have a camera in our pockets or handbags, a camera we take everywhere. We no longer capture just the momentous celebrations and events, but every day life. 

One of my current projects is to pull together the photos from Miss S' first year, something similar to the baby album my mum lovingly put together for me. Of course, my photos are all digital. I don't have to take a film into the store, have the photos printed and then place them into an album. I've chosen to organise mine into a personalised album online and order a hard copy. I have culled all of the photos from those first 12 months, from just shy of 11,000 photos, yes that's right 11,000 photos to a more manageable 1200. A second round of culling awaits. 

So in three generations, the number of baby photos in our family has grown from a handful, around eight of my dad in his first 12 months, to me, around 300, and to my daughter, now sitting at an astonishing and pretty impressive 11,000. 

The discussion then moves to what to do with them. An album is a beautiful way of presenting and preserving them, but what about the ones that don't make the cut. After sharing this figure with my workmates, their advice was to store them all on a hard drive (done) and then in the cloud (need to explore further).

How to choose the best digital album for your photos?

For me, this was a big decision. I love photos, I love designing with them and I love displaying them. We were lucky enough to find an amazing wedding photographer who designed an incredible magazine style album for us. It set the bar high and showed me how the professionals do it.

I spent quite a bit of time researching both online and checking out examples in store. Most of the big companies who print photos also print albums now. Personally, I'm not convinced about the quality of the images, but if you're putting together a simple album and the quality of the image isn't essential then they are an affordable way of displaying your photos.

My ultimate goal was to find an album that would be perfect to display Miss S' first year so I knew I needed to have a test run. A couple of thousand photos from our holiday to the US in 2011 were still waiting patiently in a hard drive. I set about culling them and organising them into an album. I managed to place the photos into two albums, of about 100 pages each. And while it was a time consuming project, I really did enjoy reliving our trip and designing the albums.

I finally chose albumworks as the company to design and print my albums. A couple of reasons:
  • the quality of the album
  • the fact I could download the album design program to my computer and design in my own time and in my own space. I didn't have to login to a company's site and run the risk I could lose my design
  • the program is user friendly, offers plenty of design options and is easy to navigate
  • an Australian company - based in Melbourne. I could call with my questions, or email them
  • Price - not cheap but I was comfortable with the value offered
  • Finally, I ordered my first album titled - New York. And I was really impressed with the final product. I have had lots of family members and friends flick through the album and comment on how fantastic it looks. 

I'd love to hear what you have done with precious photos, how do you store your photos and how do you present your favourites? 


  1. Hi Katie, thanks for this post, it's timely seeing as i'm trying to decide which company to go with for my first ever photobook! Just wondering if you got the SD or HD format?

  2. Hi Michelle, I went with the SD format for my albums (I have designed and printed two) and I'm really happy with the result. I had a lot of photos to add to my album but I did a couple of big feature pages (one photo on a page or across a double page) and they turned out beautifully. Good luck with your album!


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