iPhoto Preservation

iPhoto: Protect and Preserve your photo assets

  

 

      iPhoto is an impressive application; for years Mac users have embraced it's simplicity to create a safe haven for their digital library; thousands of personal photos meant to span decades.

 

     The iPhoto Library is a great application; easy to use with specific tools to help you position your photos through albums and events. It's power is to provide intuitive organizational creativity to archive your photos for generations. 
 
     It is important to put your iPhoto Library in perspective. The photos you have taken over the years chronicle your life, your family and your interests. Your iPhoto Library is however residing on your hard drive. Your hard drive is at risk every day from drive failures as well as loss due to theft, fires and flooding. It is very clear to most of us that losing your iPhoto Library would be a huge loss. Now is the time to think about how to preserve your photo assets. 
    
  
 Archive, Preserve and Protect
 
    You should archive your photos in a way that will protect the most important images. It can be done in many ways and there is no best case scenario. You need to find the solution for your particular needs. 
 
          
Create a hard or soft cover book on the internet

  

 1.  Apple's iPhoto app can create a book. Blurb.comSnapfish.com,Shutterfly.com and other sites give you the tools to do this on your own as well. There are templates that allow you to create interesting placements and add text so you can annotate the event. 
 
 
Make a Book

2. Go to the local camera store! Your digital photos can be brought to the store in many ways such as a flash drive, CD or DVD. Pick out your best 100 photos on a regular schedule and print them. You can print them individually and create your own personal photo albums or scrapbooks. Think archival!
Make sure you write names on them for future generations. You will need to use acid free ink and make sure to write so it does not indent the paper. Archival prints can have a lifespan of 65 or more years when printed on semi-matt stock. Bordered prints are great because you can write on the border without hurting the photo. Create a photo album that will last for generations; given as gifts or preserved as a chronicle of your life's work or family history.
 
Click here for an article on  Photo Preservation 
 
 3.  Export your photos out of iPhoto on to CD, DVD or BluRay media. This is a good solution as well but remember that technology is continually evolving. One day you will need to re-archive your CD's and DVD's to newer technology. Currently CD's and DVD's have been the standard we have chosen to archive, store and share our photos. New cloud based solutions and more powerful servers have allowed many companies to eliminate CD's and DVD installs. It may not be long before CD type media will be eliminated altogether similar to record albums, cassettes and video tapes.
Note: CD, DVD and BluRay media are also at risk as one scratch on the "top" of the media can render a disk unusable - forever!
 
4. Backup to the Cloud 
    Ok, it was bound to be mentioned. The cloud servers are a solution. You can implement a cloud solution for about $50 a year to protect all your data including your images. Crashplan.com andCarbonite.com are two examples of cloud based backup. One concern may be the expectation that the company's cloud servers will always be there. I am not sure that we can trust that a company will not go out of business, have a huge disaster or simply lose your data. So, with that said cloud based servers are minimally a transitional backup solution you can use till you have completed your books, photo albums and scrapbooks.
 
In Conclusion, you need to think about your digital lifestyle. You may never have a computer hard drive fail. The iPhoto library you have today may go from computer to computer throughout your life, your children's lives and beyond. But what if it doesn't? Be prepared to make sure you have done all you can to preserve your history so future generations can enjoy your history as much as you have.