Leaving photos behind

Joined
Jun 23, 2017
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35
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My family really likes my photo activity which goes back to first days of marriage and back even earlier (50 years). I have thousands of thousands of photos in my LR catalog everything from scanned 35mm slides and early family film photos to now, all digital since 2004. A lot are my attempt at photo art as well as documentation of our family's life. No one else in my family is connected to the tech side of photography at all. However, our son is totally tech-fluent. My wife points out that if I go to that great darkroom into the sky that no one will have a clue as to where the photos are or what to do with them, etc. or what to do with my equipment. I'd appreciate hearing from my fellow Lightroom Queeners what their solution is to what to do with their photos after they are gone.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
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Houston, TX USA
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The truth is that no one will appreciate our photo efforts as much as we will. Aside from a few family snapshots, I think most will be forgotten.

You can put some of your best effort in online albums but unless you have some one as passionate about your work as you, you can probably forget the Original (RAW) files. I would make sure some one has your passwords to access your Lightroom computer and any online portfolios.

Think about the photography of your grandparents generation. What you see there is probably what you can expect your grandkids to appreciate when they are your age.


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Joined
Nov 30, 2012
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473
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Power User
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Classic
Providing access to photos should be a part of a family’s digital legacy plan, just as the family should plan ahead as to how to access the financial, legal, and other digital/online accounts of any family member in case something happens.

Compared to financial and legal digital records, photos are relatively easy to deal with. You should probably assume that there will not always be tech-savvy members of the family who want to guarantee that valuable digital family photos are passed down to the next generation. Therefore the simplest solutions are the best.

For example, you could leave multiple family members with copies of the same digital archive of your photos bulk exported to high quality JPEG. If you add keywords to the most important images or at least name the files usefully, the search feature in common operating systems (Mac, Windows, iOS…) let any family member find those photos on their computer by keyword or filename. The beauty of this is that their OS will find photos by keyword even if they do not have a single photo application installed. That releases any dependency on specific software or expertise.

The other easy way to pass down your best photos is to make photo books. Again, you can order several copies of the same books and distribute them to family members. In some families, print albums are more likely to get passed down than digital files.

You could do both, gifting multiple family members with printed albums and digital archives, and assume that some copies will be cherished and kept and other copies will be neglected and lost, depending on who received them. The longer at least one copy gets preserved, the more likely somebody in the family decades from now is going to say “We found these fascinating photos of life 100 years ago by an ancestor.” You just have to get the archive past the next one or two generations that might not value them as much.

As in nature, diversity, adaptation, and numbers increase the chances of survival.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
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Location
Houston, TX USA
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The media that you choose to preserve your images for posterity is important and needs to be future proof. There is a lot of 8mm film and VHS and BetaMax family history out there without the means to view it.
 
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