Friday, May 31, 2013

Down Memory Lane: Ways to Preserve Memories

One of the things I work on from home is helping families preserve memories through family history and memoir books. While I was going through the last of the boxes in the garage, I re-discovered some old tip booklets I wrote in 2007. I am going to start putting the articles on the blog here, one or two at a time, in hopes of helping others preserve their memories before the people involved are gone or before the memories fade altogether. This is the first of those articles. I hope you enjoy them, and would love feedback!
an impromptu ice cream break after chasing down the truck!

Simple ways to preserve the memories in the moment... 

You know you should capture special moments in life before the moment has passed, but how do you make sure you're ready when they happen? Follow these tips and you'll always be prepared!


  • Keep the camera charged, memory card clear and close at hand.
    • If you've brought the camera along, but the film is no good, the battery is dead, or your memory card is so full that you can only get one or two images onto it, it won't do any good. As soon as you've used the camera for one excursion, take the time to recharge the battery, upload the last images off of your memory card, and get it ready for next time. Then put it back into your travel bag or purse so it's ready to go! (This is also a good idea in case you're in a car accident.)
  • Carry a small notebook and pen for jotting down key memory triggers about an event.
    • Once you get home, try to write the filler details down as soon as you can, so the entire memory doesn't fade with time. This will also help you keep from feeling overwhelmed later when you try to compile everything.
  • Don't be afraid to take lots of pictures or "look like a tourist"
    • This is especially easy with today's digital cameras. If the picture doesn't turn out well, you might have another that works for you - and you just delete the bad ones. 
  • Don't be afraid to let the kids take a few
    • Some of my most interesting shots come from the kids' perspectives. Getting higher or lower than your subject can sometimes give you an unexpectedly fun image to carry into the future!
  • On occasion, take a few shots of the "scenery" of the day - but balance it by shots of the people involved
    • I have often been so fascinated by the pictures showing old cars, clothing styles, buildings, etc. that I try to get pictures of those things too. When I am helping families write out Grandpa or Grandma's stories for their books, those old pictures can help flesh out the story when something comes up that is no longer used by society. On the flip side, I have had other books where people didn't "like" having their pictures taken so the person's face was rarely in the book. The people making the books were heartsick because there were so few pictures to include of lost loved ones. Try to take some of each throughout the day.
Memories tend to be like old photographs that are left out in the sun too long: the longer they are exposed, the more the colors and details fade away. Writing down the memories as soon as you can will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed in your efforts to preserve precious events.

What tips do you have to keep memories alive? 

Shared at: Frugal Ways, Sustainable Days blog hop

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