Creating a Legacy Collection for Yourself

Creating a Legacy Collection for Yourself

I work with many clients, and as one might expect the collections I am seeing are getting bigger and bigger. I am currently working on two personal photo collections over 100k images and that is not uncommon.

The question then becomes, where is this going and do we really want to go there?

Read More

What do you want your photo collection to look like in ten years?

What do you want your photo collection to look like in ten years?

I recently placed a post-it note on my computer screen that asks – What do you want your photo collection to look like in ten years?

Although it was meant mostly as a reminder to me, it's now a question I ask my clients as well when starting a new project with them.
 
In this age of massive digital accumulation, it is something worth thinking about, especially if we believe a family photo archive has value to us, not only in our lifetime, but to those we might consider passing it down to in the future.

Read More

Apple Photos trifecta of storage eating features

Apple Photos trifecta of storage eating features

Apple Photos has a trifecta of features – Live Photos, Burst Mode and HDR, that while offering some convenience and perks, really are part of a strategy that long-term results in massive subscription fees from ever-expanding iCloud accounts. OK, that sounds pretty paranoid, but it’s essentially true.

Apple has released these cool features over the years, which can unquestionably elicit a few oohs and aahs, but ultimately eats up enormous amounts of storage space while the unaware user has no idea why it’s happening. When you think about the relatively short period of time that iPhones, and in particular these features, have been around, it is staggering to think what 10 years, 20 years and more will bring in terms of these growing storage eating features that keep getting rolled out.

Read More

Our photos are the trophies of our lives

Our photos are the trophies of our lives

For years my mother had old photos of myself and other family members and friends thumbtacked to a corkboard in her kitchen. When I moved my mother out of her home a few years ago I had to remove these up to 40-year-old photos that were now faded and yellow and had multiple tiny holes in them from the repeated thumbtacking. If one didn’t know better you might have thought that I and my other family members were victims of some terrible voodoo ritual. Maybe Mom did have some unresolved feelings she was expressing, but more likely they just kept falling down.

Read More

…scanned from my archive. Posing at Grandpa’s studio

…scanned from my archive. Posing at Grandpa’s studio

I’ve mentioned many time that my Grandfather, Boris Lenoff, owned and ran a portrait studio on the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. It later moved to Ocean Parkway and probably closed sometime in the sixties when he sold off the entire inventory of cameras and photo files.

Read More

Being there - Make sure you have the memory before you photograph it

Being there - Make sure you have the memory before you photograph it

My family and I visited the museum the other day here in LA to see the renowned King Tut exhibit. It will be the last time much of the collection will be able to be seen outside of Egypt, ever! The key word here is “seen”, as in looking at something and experiencing the use of our sensory ability called sight. If I am starting to sound sarcastic it is because as I wandered around the exhibit looking at all these ancient marvels, I also started to notice that many of those around me were not actually looking at the relics, but walking around and taking photo after photos of them with their mobile phones.

Read More

…scanned from my archive. Tim and Nico go out Midwest – 1974

…scanned from my archive. Tim and Nico go out Midwest – 1974

In 1974 my brothers Tim and Nico took a trip out the Midwest to visit their grandparents. My stepmother Susan was originally from Minnesota but her parents had relocated to Missouri and so the family took off for the heartland. Along the way they stopped for a visit to Mount Rushmore.

I love this shot that my father took. The quintessential snapshot would have typically had my brothers facing the camera, framed from head to toe (because we all know how important it is to include footwear in meaningful family portraits), with the four presidents shrunk to minuscule versions of themselves in the background.

Read More

What makes a great family photo

What makes a great family photo

I am always telling my clients that we all need to become the editors of our own life story, but sometimes figuring out what makes a photo worth keeping and adding to our story isn’t so easy. I’ve been a photo editor for years, but the criteria I used for professional editing and what I might consider for editing family photos isn’t necessarily the same.

What they both have in common is story telling, that’s what editing is. But while a professional edit requires a certain level of technical quality, family photos are more about emotional connections to people, places and things, the stuff memories are made of.

Read More

Summer tips for taking photos

Summer tips for taking photos

How many photos will you have in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Kinda scary right? And what about videos? Yikes!

Aside from the holidays, summer is the time of year we take a lot of pictures. Taking lot of pictures is great, but taking so many that you don’t even want to look at them, let alone edit them, is not OK. Also ballooning the storage on your phone is not fun, so let’s focus on quality not quantity this summer. Here are a few ways to do that.

Read More

Legacy Project - Mom, circa 1928

Legacy Project - Mom, circa 1928

…scanned from my archive. Mom, circa 1928. Mom just celebrated her 96th birthday last week. She’s here in LA, a long way from her Brighton Beach, Brooklyn roots, but she is close to her family, especially her grandson, and that is more important to her than geography. These are a couple of photos taken in her father’s photo studio which was located on the first floor of the apartment building she grew up in. The entrance to the building was on Brighton 4th street, but my grandfather’s studio was entered to directly from the Coney Island Boardwalk, just a hop, skip and a jump from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Read More

Is your digital photo collection healthy, under the weather or ready for the ICU?

Is your digital photo collection healthy, under the weather or ready for the ICU?

Sounds like the diagnosis of a patient, right? Well like the human body, a photo collection is really a system of connections, and if all is not well with that system, it doesn’t work quite the way it should.

As a professional photo organizer, when I see a client for the first time, I actually do a diagnosis of their photo collection to see how healthy it is. I’ve seen some pretty sick photo libraries in my time, but thankfully no terminal cases so far.

So the question becomes, what makes up a healthy photo collection? Basically I am looking to see how it works in these six areas:

Is it organized?
Are images findable?
Are images accessible?
Is the collection safe?
Can images be shared?
Is it endurable?

Read More

Setting up Apple Photos right from the start

Setting up Apple Photos right from the start

The Holidays are upon us and that means we are going to be taking a lot more pictures than usual. All good, except when the storage on our phones or laptops starts to max out and we have to scramble to free up space. Here are some Apple Photos settings that can help you avoid that mess and get you set up the right way.

Read More

Using iCloud Photo Sharing to share your pics with family and friends

Using iCloud Photo Sharing to share your pics with family and friends

One of the questions I get asked the most is “When I’m using Apple Photos, what is the best way to share my photos with others?”

You could use the Apple Family Sharing plan, but that will entail a bit of a set up, plus a subscription fee for iCloud storage (This would be in addition to any iCloud account you may already have in your name).

Some folks have asked me if they could have other family members sign into their iCloud account. The problem with that is everybody who signs in will not only have their photos shared, but also their Contacts, Documents and whatever else they have backed up to iCloud as well. Not a good answer!

The easiest way and cheapest (its free) way to share your photos is to use iCloud Photo Sharing. This is how it works.

Read More

Lyn - An easy and fast way to view your photos on your desktop

Lyn - An easy and fast way to view your photos on your desktop

I came across Lyn on a website listing alternative photo cataloging apps. I had been looking for a simple, desktop-based photo management program to offer as an option to my clients. Aside from Apple Photos, there is a trend towards cloud based image platforms such as Google Photos that offer no desktop management at all. Lots of my clients like working on their desktop and don’t like being forced to do all their work on the web. Also, with so much hacking going on, I think it’s asking for trouble to be completely reliant on web based platforms. Read whole article...

Read More

How to edit down a large selection of images and rate them from Favorites to duds

I used to do freelance photo editing and it was not uncommon to be given up to 20,000 images from a photo agency and asked to edit it down to about 20-30 pictures for a story. Now it is highly unlikely you will ever deal with those kind of quantities, but the same editing process I used for that will also work just as well for an edit of 500 photos.

Read More