Archiving Family Photos: Family Tree Magazine Podcast Episode 84

By Family Tree Editors

Listen to this Family Tree Magazine Podcast episode here: 

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In this episode:

Your Host: Lisa Louise Cooke

Lisa’s newest book is available at Family Tree Shop: Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse.


News from the Blogosphere with Genealogy Insider Diane Haddad

Diane Haddad


Diane discusses 25 Keepsake Family Photo Projects

Photo-Book Projects 

  • Custom Photo Book with Snapfish
  • Auto-Fill Birthday Book with Mixbook
  • Family Yearbook
  • Heirloom Reproduction Book
  • Photo Book for Busy People
  • Grandparent and Grandchild Memory Book
  • Remembering and Celebrating Book


Smartphone and Tablet Projects 


Card, Collage, and Scrapbooking Projects Photo 

  • Thank-You Card with Shutterfly Creative Effects
  • Collage Mouse Pad with Shutterfly
  • Holiday Greeting Card Collage with Snapfish
  • Ancestor Collage With PicMonkey
  • Facebook Cover Photo Collage with PicMonkey
  • Digital Scrapbooking Tribute Page with Snapfish


Calendar Projects 

  • Wall Calendar with Mixbook
  • Perpetual Celebration Calendar with AdoramaPix
  • It’s a Party! Calendar
  • A Year in the Life Calendar
  • Kitchen Duty Calendar


Fabric and Home Décor Craft Projects 

  • Vintage Holiday Photo Pillow with Spoonflower & PicMonkey
  • Photo Quilt Block

 Visit Family Tree Shop to learn more about How to Archive Family Photos and how this book will help you organize your digital photos.

Top Tips: Digital Photo Organizing Secrets


Digital photo organizing secrets from Denise May Levenick, author of the book How to Archive Family Photos.

Getting Started:

  • Forgive Yourself
  • Work Slowly
  • Choose a “Digital Birthday” marking the date you started so that you know which of the photos you have taken have been dealt with and which haven’t.
  • Work in Batches

Organizing Photos:

  • Denise uses the following simple photo naming convention: Name_Date_Location_Item
  • Denise keeps computer file folders simple, and relies heavily on meta data. Her preferred meta data software is Adobe Lightroom. 

Denise’s Photo Tip:

Take snapshots of your life today – the favorite places you frequent because they may not be around forever.

101 Best Websites: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog

Prints & Photographs Online Catalog at the Library of Congress.

Lisa recommends reviewing the Help page to familiarize yourself with best practices for using the site and images:

Click the orange Subscribe button above the search box to subscribe for free to the Picture This Blog featuring Highlights from the collections, research tips, upcoming public programs, as well as peeks “behind the scenes” in the Prints & Photographs Division.

Check out “More Resources” on the left side of the homepage featuring:

Family Tree University: Photo Editing & Retouching for Genealogists


Digital photography tools are essential for genealogists–not only for capturing family memories now, but also for preserving, retouching and editing historical photos. From scanning and uploading these pictures to your computer, to fixing damaged areas and reprinting, there is an hour-long webinar video from expert Nancy Hendrickson at Family Tree Shop that will revive and reinvigorate your family photo collection. Family Tree University Dean Tyler Moss shares tips from the video.

Recommended Free Photo Editing Software:

Recommended Image Format: TIFF

From the Publisher’s Desk

Allison Dolan

Publisher Allison Dolan shares a few fun ideas for ways to celebrate National Photo Month:



  • Preserve old family snapshots by digitizing the
  • Use your home scanner, a portable device such as the Flip-Pal, or an app on your tablet
  • Back up!
  • Find advice in the new book How to Archive Family Photos by Denise May Levenick



  • Easy to forget—after all, YOU know who’s in the picture
  • Taking the time to label photos ensures that family members won’t have photo mysteries in the future
  • With physical photos, write in pencil on the back; with digital photos, include details in the file name and image metadata
  • Have a lot of unlabeled photos? Don’t tackle all at once. Set aside 15 minutes at a time.
  • If you have unidentified photos in your possession, be sure to check out Family Photo Detective by Maureen A. Taylor and read her Photo Detective blog on



  •   In today’s digital world, it’s easy for everyone to enjoy favorite family photos—lots of ways to share
  •   About 1/3 of the book How to Archive Family Photos is devoted to ways you can share and enjoy photos; 25 different projects ranging from 1-6 hours
  •   Create photo books of your family history images, using a service like Shutterfly so other can order copies too
  •   Make a calendar—great gift because everyone needs one
  •   Post to a photo-sharing service such as Flickr or Google+ Photos and distribute the link to family members
  •   Start a blog of family history images—excellent cousin bait


  • Certainly there are listeners thinking, “But I don’t have many images of my family history.” What a perfect occasion to find more!
  • Search for images of your family members: connect with distant cousins, look for published genealogies and county histories
  • Think beyond ancestor photos to images of other things related to your family history: pictures of their hometown, historical events they lived through, postcards from places they lived/visited, ads for products they would have used, images of their house, church, business, etc.
  • Recommended resource: Searching for Family History Photos by Maureen A. Taylor
Listen to Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems and Genealogy: Family History Made Easy podcasts on iTunes and visit her website for great research ideas, podcast episodes and videos.