Preparing photos for a loved one’s passing

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Keith Boston
Keith Boston

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve played “What Year is it Wednesday”.  In honor of my father, who recently passed away from pancreatic cancer, I’d like to instead talk about preserving and preparing photos of loved one’s.

On November 30th, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  10 days later on December 10th, he passed away with my step-mother and sisters at his side.  Yesterday, we celebrated his life with family and friends sharing memories of him.

Often times preparing photos for a service includes not only finding your photos, but scanning and editing them as well.  The photos are often used in a storyboard, album and/or designing the video along with decisions on what music to include.  This process can take at least a day if your photos are not organized (digitally or printed), which can often add additional stress to the family looking for that one special photo.

My sisters and I had the luxury of having a few days to gather photos from various devices; in addition to gathering printed photos that I scanned and edited.  We chose to include the final photos in a video with music our dad loved to listen to.

Quick Tip

For many of us, we have printed photos in albums, boxes, and envelopes.   That’s just the printed photos we have collected ourselves or inherited.  Then there are the digital photos!  They are on computers, smartphones, cloud storage, backup storage, social media and the list goes on.  The first, and most important step is to gather all your photos (printed and digital) into one place.  This way, if you ever encounter an emergency, such as my sisters and I did; you won’t be left hunting for that all important photo you remember seeing as a child and can’t for the life of you remember where you put it.

  • memories-407021_1920Printed Photos:
    The first step is gather all your printed photos, tapes, slides and place them in one area of your house.  This does not include the basement, attic, garage or shed!  Do you still have undeveloped film, slides or old tapes?  Don’t despair!!  There are still places that develop and transfer older media.  Give me a call.
  • Digital:
    Combine all your digital photos onto one computer, cloud or backup device.  I’ll talk more about options in the near future.  No one option fits everyone; I’ll help guide you through options that fit you.
  • Music:
    Musical+notesYou wouldn’t normally think about music when organizing photos.  However, when it comes time to celebrate one’s life that’s the time you wished you had a list of music ready, just in case.  When my mother-in-law past several years ago, I was amazed how well organized and prepared she was.  She even included what music she wanted in her service.  So, my tip here is start gathering a list of your favorite songs, and who the artist is.  Keep it with your important documents so it’s handy when needed.

These are merely the first steps towards organizing your photos.  There are many other steps and options involved in preserving and sharing your memories.  And most importantly, should unfortunate events happen; you will be prepared.

I hope this helps get you motivated to at least make that first step in gathering your photos.

Let’s preserve and cherish our memories for future generations!

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