How to preserve your photos

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. The convenience of having everything on your phone is amazing, but I’m quick to forget that I’ve racked up hundreds of photos and dozens of videos, which I will inevitably not glance through again until I start running out of phone storage and need to clear out space.

I was at an event recently and in between sessions I caught a glimpse of the photographer of taking photos of the attendees. I started to think about the number of times that I played photographer over the summer. We went on a few family trips (including a Familymoon!) and I was very set on documenting as many moments as possible. I wanted visual reminders of our family hikes in Colorado and the surfing and luaus in Hawaii so that I could look back on those amazing trips which truly helped to change my perspective and priorities ever since.  

Months later as I’m standing at the event looking at the photographer take photos it dawned on me that all of those vacation pictures were still sitting on my phone. The photos were now so far deep in the album that I would have to scroll pretty far to find them. I had really great intentions of getting them printed as soon as I got home from my last trip, but then I got sick...and work was busy...and life was back to, it was easy to be dropped on the priority list!

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So, right then and there I opened up the Chatbooks app I had downloaded on my phone a few months back. Chatbooks allows for you to create photo books using the photos currently saved on your phone, and I’ve heard amazing things about the quality and convenience for years but had yet to give it a go myself. With 5 minutes left in my event break I was able to select a style (they have a bunch of cute cover designs) and select the photos that I wanted to add straight from the photo album on my phone. I even had time to add captions!

It truly was one of those “why didn’t I do this sooner” user experiences. It took 5 minutes! I know time is tough to find, which is great that they offer a series option as well for Instagram, Facebook, and your phone’s “Favorites” album. How great does this sound? If you’re on Instagram you can set up a series that creates and sends you a new photo book for every 60 photos you upload on Instagram. I mean, that’s pretty convenient.

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The photo books are slim and attractive so they won’t add bulk or clutter to your home, which I love. You can just add them to a bookshelf or include on your coffee table to be enjoyed for years to come (which is the point of taking a photo to begin with!). I love the idea of making one for each family vacation or even as a family yearbook to corral photos throughout the year.

While sometimes I miss the days of getting film developed and  having the physical prints, more often than not they just end up sitting in a box. I’ve worked in countless home storage areas where there are boxes upon boxes of printed photos. Not only are they taking up a fair amount of space, but they aren’t in a format where you can realistically enjoy them, which is a shame!

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As an organizer, I’ve seen time and time again how difficult it can be to tackle sentimental categories. At the end of the day, remember that the stuff is truly just stuff. The memories are inside of your mind, not inside of the physical object that you are holding on to. But, I completely understand that seeing the physical item (or photo) reminds you of the experience, so it can be hard to let go of. Instead of keeping the actual item (say, an antique table), why not take a photo of it before selling it? That way you can use the photos to create a photo book of the most cherished sentimental items in your life.

I'd love to know: how do you organize your photos? Are they sorted in folders on your computer or printed and stowed away in boxes? Do you scrapbook? Are we in the same boat where they are just sitting on your phone waiting to be dealt with? Let me know in the comments section below!

*BONUS: Use the discount code CBLOVE to receive your first Chatbooks book for FREE!


*This post is sponsored by Chatbooks. Thanks for supporting the brands that support the Rachel and Company blog.