gratitude-a-thon day 614: how to sort through your old pictures

This past weekend, my sister told me she might be drowning in old, unlabeled photographs. I am there trying to catch my breath, right next to her, and maybe a lot of you are too, those of you who did not grow up on convenient-to-store digital photography. The truth is, I have a whole closet full of real life photos (and then truthfully, I have another closet with more real life photos, more than I can recount here, more than I want to admit to, more than I might ever get to in this particular life).

What to do? Seriously, I mean, without quitting your job? Well, first thing to do is start. So, this weekend my sister and I began sorting her life in photos. We had some fun while we were doing it too. Here are some tips for you if you too, have been taken over by your Kodachrome.

1. Do it with a partner. DO NOT TRY THIS BY YOURSELF, unless you don’t have A.D.D., or you are Martha Stewart, why then, knock yourself out.

2. Do not allow yourself to go through every photo with an accompanying story, unless you have like, the rest of your life to sort photos.

3. Hydrate. This process can be a long one. (Wine is hydration.)

4. Do not steal your partner’s photos without telling them (Even if you have unspeakable hair in one of them, or have never looked better in another).

5. Sort by decade, not be day. (Can you even imagine how long that would take?) If you’re wondering if someone could do this for you, the answer is yes, there are loads of places. But it’s sort of expensive. For instance, at Dijifi, they charge 59¢ a pic. I have THOUSANDS OF PHOTOS. You do the math.

6. Get ready to scan yourself. Old family photos are the money shot here. Give future generations the ability to make fun of relatives they have never met. Plus if you have a genealogy geek in your midst, you will make their life a whole lot easier. Get those pics on the computer.

7. Laugh. At the styles, your grandmother sitting in a chair in the snow in a full on fur coat, the time you were in a play and wore only hair as clothing, at your littler self, your awkward phase, and the myriad of boys that have marched through your life.

I’m sorry, but can anyone think of why my grandmother is sitting in a chair in the snow? Her legs are immersed in like, a foot of white stuff. She’s all dressed up and sitting on an indoor chair IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER. Anybody? Bueller……Bueller?

8. Keep one variation of a shot. If you’re like me, I used to take a roll to get one good picture. Fahgetaboutit, you just need to keep one. Hard as it may be, throw out the others.

9. Eat. This is hard work. You must get proper nutrition. Braised lamb, highly recommended.

10. This is a long term project, so pat yourself on the back for your progress, and take a picture of you and your partner. This is a memory you don’t want to forget.

Here is my grandfather (not the one married to “Frozen”). Take a look at that awesome grill. And what about the dog? I am the youngest in my family. I only got to know this man until I was like, three, so pictures are my only link. He’s pretty handsome, I think.