Prior to the development of iPhoto and and the ability to organize photos based on events, we had all of our pictures printed at Med-X or Walgreens. So needless to say, I have pounds and pounds of photos from my days at New Life Ranch Summer Camp, to high school basketball action shots. Thankfully, I was an obsessive scrap-booker in high school, so many of my memories are safe and sound in an over-sized blue book that I have stopped hauling to/from each place that I live. I only wish that I had an electronic version of this.
So, I have TWO answers to TWO dilemmas. Firstly, the issue of safe-keeping photos that have been printed. Secondly, the issue of commemorating the special memories.
1) Safe-keeping your existing photos with/without the negatives.
The answer: Scan Cafe (www.scancafe.com)! You have the ability to take all of the loose photos that have been sitting in your house for years, put them in a box and mail them to to this company-securely and safely. They scan your pictures and load them to a proofing system, where you can choose the ones that you want and don't want. Keep in mind that you have to keep 50% (at a minimum) of the pictures that you submitted. During the proofing stage, you can organize your photos so you don't have to do that prior to sending.
Additionally, Scan Cafe can also restore old photos, pixel by pixel, that have scratches, color fading, anything! If you have a favorite picture of your friends or family that has aged with time, this is the perfect opportunity to let the experts fix the photo and bring it back to life!
For your loved ones that have been avoiding the 'old photographs' topic and have kept the picture cabinet locked and demand no mention of this burden, this is the perfect solution! Scan Cafe even has a Gift Box that is sold for $149. It is the ideal way to force the subject and make sure that all pictures and memories are well preserved!
2) The issue of commemorating special memories.
The answer: My Publisher (www.mypublisher.com)! There have been a few moments in the past years that I have wanted to share with my friends and family. Scrap-booking is so much fun and so creative, but I wanted to expand from that a bit and create something that could show off professional quality photographs in a clean and concise format. The day that Brian and I were married, I gave him a book that I made through a program, Blurb (www.blurb.com). It turned out nicely, and recalled our courtship and engagement. Looking back, Blurb was quite hard to work with, and it seemed I was always battling with some flaw in the program.
We have almost been married for two years so it was time (especially with a baby on the way) to commemorate our wedding day. It took me a little over a week to finish the book using the My Publisher program, with a considerable about of time committed. I received the book one week ago and I am shocked how well it turned out-so much more beautiful and professional than Blurb's book. It has an exquisite linen cover and showcases the pictures in a clean professional way!
The program was SO easy to use, and My Publisher offers a multitude of themed options that can help guide you through the making of the book, ranging from love stories, journeys, family, the great outdoors, baby, school days! Best of all, it was very affordable and they gave me a fabulous coupon that I couldn't deny (of which they are still offering to first-time publishers). I would definitely recommend this program! I loved preserving our wedding day through My Publisher, and will definitely use it again!