Are your precious family photographs secure? Spring Grove portrait photographer offers tips
All parents have them - photos of their children as infants, as toddlers taking those first precarious steps and as youngsters in their first dance recital or rounding second base on their way to their first triple in Little League. Those and other photos preserve precious memories you couldn't bear to lose.
At one time, parents stored their family photos in a shoebox stuck on the back of a closet shelf. A few of the best photos were preserved in photo albums among books in the family room.
Audrey Wancket, of Spring Grove based Wancket Studios, is one of the leading portrait photographers in the country. As a member of the board of Professional Photographers of America, she is dedicated to the advancement of the art. She's also extremely knowledgeable about safely securing a family's photographs.
The first rule of safeguarding photographs, is to backup photos. Wancket recommends putting them on discs. She further recommends putting copies of those discs in a safe-deposit box or some other secure place separate from the originals.
The real key, however, is not just to put the photos on discs but to choose the right type of discs. Wancket recommends using gold DVDs.
"Gold DVDs have nearly a 100-year life expectancy," she said. "Most store brands have seven to eight years before they start deteriorating."
She concedes that gold discs cost a little more. However, she asked, "Aren't those precious family photos worth a little more? Think of it as an insurance policy for your most prized memories."
Another important factor, and one somewhat unique to photos saved in files, is to save photos with appropriate names. The key is to save them in files that are named in a manner that makes navigating the files easier.
For instance, Wancket suggested using a naming format such as the year/month/day_title_number. An example would be: 100827_firstdayschool_001.
Wancket also recommends storing CDs and DVDs numerically. If someone wants to save on the costs of gold DVDs, they may choose their favorite photos from each of the other discs and save those on a gold archival disc. Once again, it's important to store that in a safe location other than where the originals are stored.
One final warning Wancket offered is to not rely on an external hard drive. A hard drive in a computer can crash and so can an external hard drive.
To learn more about Wancket studios, call 847-587-3350 or visit www.wancketstudios.com .