Disintegrating Family Photo Albums Transform into Touching Gifts

family photo albums

Lee’s family sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner 1958.

Years ago, photo albums were meant to organize our photos and keep them safe for future generations. However, unless archival-quality albums were used to store your treasured pictures, the acidic paper of a photo album can deteriorate printed photos over time.

 

This is the dilemma that ScanMyPhotos customer Lee Jackto is currently facing with her parents’ photo albums.

 

“My mom has about 25+ albums that are decaying rapidly—the pictures are turning yellow and are stuck in that acid-type folder paper. These albums contain pictures of me growing up, starting with my baby photos, and pictures of my parent’s wedding—overall there are about 50 years worth of photos in them.”

 

Lee did some online research to find a company that could scan her photos and restore some of the quality. She discovered ScanMyPhotos from a CNET recommendation and decided to move forward.

 

The project proved to be a daunting one as the photos were really stuck on the pages of her mom’s photo albums. It took several weeks of working a few hours a day to safely get them out. Yet, while the project itself was a bit tricky, the time spent with family was a happy experience.

 

family photo albums

A photo from Lee’s parents 1957 wedding.

“My dad has the beginning stages of dementia and his memory is fading. The long term is there, but he struggles with the short term. As we were going through the albums, I really enjoyed looking through all the pictures with him—it was nice talking and hearing about some of the past I don’t remember. It brought back vibrant memories, it was all so good.”

 

“I also got to hear more about my mom’s brothers—my uncles. One did several tours of duty in Vietnam and he just passed away this past November. I heard a lot of neat stories about him and the adventures he went on and the different deployments and stations he went to.”

 

While the hard part may have been getting the photos unstuck from the album pages, there was another difficult part of the project to consider: packing up all those memories and shipping them off.

 

“ScanMyPhotos was quick—amazingly fast. They answered my initial questions immediately. I’d email asking about what I should or shouldn’t send and would get a response the next day. I felt comfortable sending my treasures in the mail to them.”

 

“And since about 90% of the photos we sent in were yellowed and faded, I went with the soap wash and the 600 dpi resolution. I was absolutely happy with the results. We also sent in different shapes and sizes of photos—it wasn’t all the standard 4X6—and it was great ScanMyPhotos was able to handle all the different types.”

 

family photo albums

Baby Lee smiles for a picture with her Uncle Jimmy after his first Vietnam deployment.

Overall, Lee was able to send in five album’s worth of photos and has more in the works. From the photos she’s scanned in so far, she created a wonderful gift for her loved ones this past holiday season.

 

“I gave out DVDs of all the photos for Christmas this year and it was a hit. We went through all of them on the computer and then went through the boxes pulling some pictures out and laughing at short shorts and beehive hairdos.”

 

Now she plans to create smaller scrapbooks for her parents who like to have the hard copies on hand, but who need some space since they’re in the midst of downsizing.

 

“It’s fun being able to do photo collages for birthdays—and my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary is coming up next year so I’ll be using the photos for that. It’s just so nice knowing all the photos are backed up in the cloud, and if something happened, God forbid like a fire or flood, they’re safe.”

 

For more information on how to preserve memories for years to come, check out the following ScanMyPhotos articles:

 

The Best Ways to Store Printed Photos

6 Tips to Preserve Old Photos for Future Generations to Enjoy

VHS Tapes Degrade Within Ten-Years; How to Digitally Preserve Your Video Memories

6 Must-Read Articles to Help You Keep Photos in Top Shape

 

 


 

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