Do You Have Photo Guilt? I Can Help You Fix That

Whether you are a genealogist or not, many of us deal with photo guilt. Photo guilt is real. It’s that feeling when you have inherited your parent’s photo collection, or you’ve been given another family member’s collection, and you don’t know how you will handle it all. You might even be feeling overwhelmed.

This happened to me a few years ago. My father was selling the family home, and he literally gave me boxes and boxes of photos. I’d already organized my personal collection, and I was pretty proud of that, and suddenly, there was that sinking feeling of starting over.

Just one of the many boxes

I’d already been through this, so it was easier the second time around. My approach was a box at a time. In the evening, I’d scan photos, or sometimes I’d get together with my cousins, and we’d have a scanning bee. This was a great way to connect with cousins. Yes, it did slow down the process because we’d stop and discuss a photo, but it was fun.

But I didn’t do all the digitizing. I realized a few things;

  • not everything has to be digitized
  • I didn’t have the skill set to deal with films
  • my time was valuable so some of the jobs could be outsourced

Not Everything Needs To Be Digitized

My parents went to Hawaii every year for probably ten years or more. So as I was going through the boxes I quickly decided that I’d only scan the photos that included family. No, I didn’t need a photo of every luau that they’d gone to, and I only needed photos of hula dancers if my parents were the dancers.

Dad getting a hula lesson

What About Film?

The other thing that I had to deal with was that my parents had over 26 8mm films. My younger brother had digitized these before but guess what, we’d both lost our CD copy when each of us moved. (I’m sure they are somewhere but who knows.) That’s when I decided that I was going to digitize them again and put them in my FOREVER account. That way, no one would have to worry about losing them again, and I could give everyone in the family access to the videos. In fact, I’ve even put one up on YouTube, and you can watch it HERE. One added bonus of getting them digitized again was that technology had improved so the files were much better than before and FOREVER cuts off all the head and tail on the videos, that’s those bits at the beginning and end of the film.

Getting them digitized was easy I bought a FOREVER Box, and you can do that too, or you can check at your local library because sometimes they have equipment that you can borrow to digitize your films. You can put more that films in the FOREVER Box because over the years I’ve sent in audio cassettes, packages of photos and genealogy documents. In fact stay tuned because I’m going to get into how I organizing my genealogy on FOREVER.


I guess that’s where the time factor comes into play. Yes, I could DYI and learn to convert film myself, but sometimes you just don’t want to learn another thing, or you realize that your time would be better spent doing genealogy or organizing your collection once they are in your account. So that’s what I opted to do. By having them professionals digitize, I can spend my time organizing them into albums and tagging them.

I created a video explaining about photo guilt and you can watch it on my channel. I hope you’ll like it and subscribe.

If you do decide to work through your own collection, know that I’m here to help you.

In fact, in September, I’m having a 4-week program called Dare To Declare. Each week we’ll meet on Tuesday at 2 p.m. Mountain on Zoom. Here’s a list of the upcoming schedule. Each session will be about 30 minutes, with 10 minutes for Q&A.

Session # 1 September 6 – Focus on Uploading and Deleting -app and computer overview. Register HERE.

Session #2 September 13 – Focus on Organizing – Album structure/ nested albums and using the Bulk Organizer. Register HERE.

Session #3 September 20 – Focus on Sharing – Shareable links to photos and albums (including QR codes), collaborative albums, and Family & Friends sharing. Register HERE.

Session #4 September 27 – Focus on Projects – AutoBook and Table Top Panel Demo and creating gifts. Register HERE.

Sound Interesting? I hope you’ll join in. I’ve also created a Facebook page that is quiet right now but will be busier once we get closer to September. You can join in HERE. Be sure to answer the questions.

Comments are closed.