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Pictures as Christmas Presents

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Posted 03-10-2013 at 11:35 PM by Jeff Westover

For the past several years I have been deeply involved in digitizing old family photos. I've worked on digitizing all the pictures we have taken since we were married, many of the photos taken during the 50 years my parents have been married and the collection of pictures my grandparents amassed during their lifetime.

The process is not an easy one. Even with technology that allows for quick work in scanning and even improving upon old photos the sheer numbers of pictures we take in families makes it a daunting task.

After about five years of effort and thousands of images later I can report some lessons learned that I'd like to share:

1. Everyone loves the old pictures. Everyone wants them. That is what makes me think old pictures are perfect as Christmas presents. Handing them over on a CD, DVD or thumb drive might not be glamorous but it is a gift that raises nothing but possibilities. Digital pictures can be printed, easily shared and put on a website.

2. Pictures are popular at family events. Pull them out and they get people talking. Storytelling is what really makes events memorable and the laughs -- oh, the laughs! -- that they generate creates a good time.

3. Pictures bring generations together. I used to worry that pictures of older generations that my kids don't know would bore them to death. But when the pictures are shown with the storytellers identifying the scene and sharing the background of the image I find the kids are fully engaged...and want copies too.

4. Social media accomplishes the same thing with one added twist -- folks tend to share what they have too. This makes for more complete picture collections.

I have now more than a century of family history documented in these photos. From generation to generation we photograph the same events: Christmas, weddings, graduations, new babies, and family gatherings of all sorts. But to see the progress through time is important.

It is early in the year and I bring this all up as a suggestion for this coming Christmas: get your pictures scanned and ready to share as gifts to those you love. They will never receive a more meaningful gift.
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  1. Old Comment
    This is a such a good idea, Jeff. I didn't even think of it !! Thanks ! xo
    Posted 03-11-2013 at 06:43 AM by caninemom3 caninemom3 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    MerryCarey's Avatar
    A perfect suggestion, and such good reasons!
    Posted 03-11-2013 at 08:24 AM by MerryCarey MerryCarey is online now
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