Gather the family photos

In our previous blogs we’ve discussed primarily how to make the most of the opportunity of Thanksgiving Day, a day, sometimes the only day a year that different generations and far-flung relatives gather together under one roof to share a meal. We’ve talked about how to record short interviews and what to do with the material you’ve gathered. In this post, we discuss another option for starting your family archive on Thanksgiving day, while still being present for your family’s current Thanksgiving traditions.


Thanksgiving is a celebration of harvest. Use this time to “harvest” your family’s photos. Ask your family members who will be traveling from far and wide to bring the family albums, or that box of photos you know is sitting and gathering dust in their attic. Tell your family how you wish to have them digitized, so they can be preserved in a different format, safe from fire, mold, and water damage. If you’re in NYC, we can pick up these photos from you in-person, at your convenience. If you’re outside of NY, you can mail them to us in a trackable package.


We will digitize your family’s collection, and make the high-resolution photos available for download, Facebook sharing, and USB drives. We’ll also make recommendations for digital photo restoration (which will do no harm to the original), which can then be printed on archival paper and displayed (Christmas gift idea!).


Including Photo Notes


If you have time over Thanksgiving and would like to include oral history notes on the photos, check out our previous post on recording your oral history. Audio interviews of people looking at a photo album can be trickier to organize; you have to describe the photo you’re looking at (if it doesn’t have a caption), then you have to remember which album it was in. We believe what you should use the audio in conjunction with written notes that you can slip into the album pages, so the written notes are there when we scan the photos. Or you can do video notes in which you video the interviewee and then video the picture he/she is talking about.


Alternatively, you can simply gather the photos, let us scan them, then share your family’s digital album through our site, where each family member can write their own captions through the comments section. Or you can let us do Skype or in-person interviews with your family members after they’ve been digitized.


No matter what route you take, gathering the photos at this opportune time will go a long way toward building your family archive. Contact us to schedule our services, and we can consult with you on the whole process!