Research to identify your ancestors

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Genealogy/Family History Project Ideas...#9

Note...see the very beginning of this blog for important steps on how to get started on your genealogy).

….. A Project...If Your Talent and Hobby is Photography ….

I realize that lots of people enjoy taking photographs. This is one of the basic ways that most people share their life with their family....and family photos are passed on from generation to generation. Some people concentrate mostly on taking photos of their family....some concentrate on scenery, or both. And I also know that some people have boxes and boxes of these loose photographs tucked away, hoping to organize them.... someday.

Please find a solution for this dilemma and act upon it NOW. Photos are very precious, especially family ones. They need to be in an acid free environment as much as possible, to preserve them, because photos tend to deteriorate with the passing of time. They need to be in albums and be somewhat organized to be truly enjoyed. I am not talking mainly about the fancy "Scrap booking" hobby. This can be very time consuming and costly. There are easier ways to organize photos. The following are some steps I will share with you to help you on your way:

* Begin by sorting your family photos into envelopes. I have an envelope for each of my children and their own family. If the photo contains that family, I put it in that envelope. I have envelopes labeled "Grandparents", "Siblings", "Aunts & Uncles", "Friends", etc. You can also do the same thing with scenery or photos of trips.

* When that is done, take one envelope at a time and sort the photos into time periods. On the back of your photos (and with a photo safe pencil), put the year, the names of who is in the photo and the place it was taken. You can use smaller envelopes to put photos from each time period.

* Now you are ready to think about how you want to do your albums. You can purchase "Photo Pages" which are acid free poly sheet protector type 8x10 size pages. These are sectioned off to hold 3x4 or 4x6 photos and they fit into 3-ring binders. All you have to do with these is slip your photos into the sections.

* Another way, is to purchase acid free cardstock paper and 3-hole punch it and put them into a 3-ring binder. Get some acid free self adhesive photo corners which slip onto the corners of your photos and then can be mounted onto your cardstock pages. By the side of each photo you can write a little bit about the photo. I have seen albums done like this and the person has used a few cute stickers to spice up the page. One nice thing about using the photo corners is that you can pull the photo out of them if you need to read the back of it, or if you want to make copies, give them away, or whatever. If they are glued in, you cannot do this.

* Some people use acid free photo storage boxes. These are 3x5 or 4x6 size boxes that come with tabbed index separators that you write on, giving them some kind of a name or date depending on how you want to organize your photos that will be in that box. Behind the separators are all the photos pertaining to the name or date that is on the separator. If you want to view the photos behind one of the named separators, you just pull out the whole bunch of loose photos, flip through them and put them back behind the separator when you are through.

Quite a few years ago I used to arise very early in the morning, just before the sun came up, to go for my 2-mile walk. I observed the beautiful sunrises, so I got into the habit of bringing my camera along with me. I would take various photos of the beautiful sky in the morning and also began to take photos of the gorgeous sunsets at night. I ended up with stacks of these beautiful photos. Not very long ago, I decided to do something with them, as I felt they were something that I had gained much pleasure from. I also felt that these photos represented a part of me and that I could share them with my family, but in a more organized way. I bought a 3-ring binder and filled it with acid free colored cardstock paper. I sorted through the photos and chose the most beautiful ones and randomly glued them onto the cardstock. I chose not to write anything next to the photos, as I felt they spoke for themselves. I gave the album the name "Sunrise--Sunset Album, Photos taken by (me)". I wrote an inside cover page to my family explaining about the album and how I enjoyed the sunsets and sunrises.

All these methods of organizing photos are good. It all depends on how you feel you want to do yours. I have offered ideas for simple, easy ways. There are lots of ideas you can find if you want to do yours differently.