Do Your Photos Have Any Value?

Photos can have 3 values:

  1. Sentimental
  2. Financial
  3. Historical
  • The vast majority of the photos only have a sentimental value. These are the photos the people take with them in case of floods, fire, disasters… When was the last time you looked at them? Do you even know where they are? Can you find them? In the old days, only 15 years ago, we would look through the albums and go through the shoe boxes full of photos. Today? I know where my photos are in Lightroom. I know my categories, I know my keywords, I know which directory/folder these photos are located in. Would my family be able to figure it out? Definitely not!
    When I'll have some time, I will have to write down the basic outline for my family, just in case.
  • Financial: These are the photos that I have sold and the photos that have the potential to be sold. In the old days, before digital, the slides would go into an archival plastic sheets that held 24 slides and that's how we separated them. Today? I use Lightroom with keywords and tags.
  • Historical: The vast majority of the photos have no historical value until they have historical value. What? Either, it's about an historical event, and then the photos have historical values. Or, the photo has no value until the photos are old enough to be an historical document of what was, decades ago.

The major problem with the current photos is that the vast majority of the photos are digital raw files that need to be processed. The processing change with time. For example, Lightroom has 3 different process versions: 2003, 2010 and 2012, and each one will produce a significantly different photo from the same raw file. It's the same with the various settings like white balance, contrast, highlights, shadows…

  • What if nobody knows about your photos? What if nobody knows where are the photos of your first child? What if nobody knows how to get the photos of your children out of your computer?
  • What if nobody knows how to use your Lightroom or Aperture or …
  • Most “cheap” printing places use Fuji Crystal Photo Paper for their prints. The Fuji Crystal Photo Paper has a life of 65 years before any significant fading, as long as it's not kept in direct sunlight.
  • Customers want to be able to go back to ask about a photo. They usually want the photo to match over the years.

The solution?

  1. Print your photos, especially the photos with a sentimental value.
  2. Export your photos to TIFFs or even to JPEGs. Almost every viewing software can read either without doing any further processing.