If you aren't doing this, then how do you pass them down?

I've been thinking a lot about digital preservation lately.

Holding on to the memories we have. 

It's a huge part of what I do right. So it makes sense that I am {constantly} thinking about it. I've been working on two baby books for our littlest addition. One has her name debossed on the cover and is already printed, in hand.

 

The other is still in the computer, on the hard-drive, being put together. 

 

I know that's why so many of my 'MachC Families' come to me. To get their memories printed. To get them "off the hard drive" and into their hands. There is nothing like looking through an actual, physical album. 

If you aren't printing your photos, putting them into shoeboxes or assembling them into albums, then how are you going to pass them down?

I think what you’re going to find in the future is ... you’re going to get a hard drive that will be passed along to a parent or a grandparent, and it will be the digital analog of an enormous shoebox full of pictures,
— Clifford Lynch of the Coalition for Networked Information from the NPR article 'In The Digital Age, The Family Photo Album Fades Away'

Maybe you are the kind of person who reads that & says, "Yeah! That's right - we'll just pass along the family hard drive." Only are you doing the things the article mentions? Backing up twice and giving a copy away? (What does that even mean?!) Are you updating your archives? Moving your digital copies to a new media storage (or format) every five years? 

Create two backup files and give one away. Put your archive on say, an external hard drive and a flash drive. Then store the backup files far apart. Give a copy to a friend or put it in a safe deposit box. That way if something bad happens to your house — like a flood or fire — your files are safe. You can also pay for an online backup site.

Actively manage your archives. Not only should you frequently update your copies with new photos, you should make a copy of your collection to new storage media every five years.
— from preserving family photos in the digital age

How will your kids look through their "shoebox full of memories"? How will they see their childhood? How will they remember. 

 

Beautiful heirloom album, with presentation box for safe keeping. 

Beautiful heirloom album, with presentation box for safe keeping. 

I love printing albums for my clients. Everything from large, leather wrapped 12x12 to the 8x8 satin photo image wrapped to the brag books that fit in grandma's purse. I know how much they mean because I see my own kids flipping through their books. 

The problem then with the virtual piles of photographs isn’t really a sign of our failings as scrapbookers but rather, lamentably, as personal archivists. Counting on your kids to be able to scroll through your Facebook photo albums or your Tumblr? Think again. It’s likely that if the photo sharing site you use goes under, your collections won’t endure either.

”We’re so new into this technology, and yet it’s so widely adopted that we’re just in this very unusual state where we’ve got all this kind of fabulous documentation, it’s very fragile, it’s very important, and we haven’t yet figured out a kind of simple, easy way to make it endure,” says archivist Bill LeFurgy. “It’s a major problem.”

It’s easy to wax poetic about the virtues of a printed photo you hand your kid or slap in a photo album. And however inelegant, dumping photos in a shoe box mostly ensures your kid will get to see these stories of their lives. Lose your phone full of baby photos or fry your hard drive? Those photos are gone forever.
— In The Digital Age, The Family Photo Album Fades Away

I don't want you to have to worry about the last time you printed from your phone. (For a lot of people, they never have. Think of all the memories we have on our phones. If nothing else we should be printing those.) 

When was the last time you took your Facebook albums and printed those images for safe-keeping.

I want you to walk away at the end of our photoshoot with a family album and wall prints in hand.

Because they are memories worth holding on to. They are the moments we share. This is what we are passing down to our children.