George and Ruth had said their goodbyes and were on their way from Halifax to Fredericton. Shortly after they left we got a call from their family. Their house was on fire! Among the many things they lost were most of their photos.

Jonathan’s cell phone accidently fell into the water with all their vacation pictures.

Fire, floods, tornadoes, dust, dirt, acids, oils and theft are just some of the ways that can destroy your pictures. Unless there are back-up copies somewhere, they’re gone forever.

If you don’t want to take a chance on that happening to you, here are a few safeguards:

Print photos

  • Keep your negatives, sorted in the same manner as your photos but in a separate photo-safe container kept at a trusted relative or friend’s house for safekeeping.
  • When storing photos and negatives, keep them in an area with low humidity and heat, not the garage or attic.
  • Scan your photos and photo albums at high quality so you can print a new copy if you ever need to. Technology has come a long way, so it is much easier now to scan copies of your actual scrapbooking or album pages. This preserves not only your photos, but also your journalling. If you don’t have time to do this, check out some of the photo companies that may do this for you – at a price, that is.

Digital Photos

  • Because CDs, hard drives and flash drives can fail, it’s recommended to keep your digital photos in at least three different locations, not all in the same house.
  • You could choose to upload your pictures to one of the many online storage sites, but make sure that they keep your photos in the original size; otherwise you may not be able to get a good print. Also make sure it’s a company that’s not going to shut down a year or two down the road or that requires you to purchase ‘x’ amount of time. If you forget to renew your subscription, you could easily lose your photos. It’s also recommended that you read the small print to make sure they cannot use your photos for their own purposes.
  • Making a print copy of the photos you especially want to keep is recommended.

Figure out what works best for you, then take the time to do it. Hopefully you’ll never need to use your back-up copies, but if you do, you’ll be glad you have them.

We also suggest you check out the links we’ve recommended in our resources.