What To Do With Photos If You Have No One To Pass Them On ToFebruary 15, 2022
If that’s you, you might be thinking something like: ‘Nobody will want my photos, why should I bother doing something with them?’
You might think that I – as a photo organiser who is all about decluttering, sorting and curating photos – might internally cringe when I hear this question. Actually, the opposite is true. I totally understand the question and find it is a good one to ask and to think about. Even for people who do have someone they can pass their photos and stories on to.
Here are some of my thoughts that might help or inspire you, too:
1. Do it for yourself!
Who says that the purpose of curating a photo collection is leaving a legacy to someone?! Yes, it is absolutely one of the big main reasons to minimise a collection and to curate it so that it is meaningful for others and future generations. Nobody wants to inherit a million photos!
However, let’s think back for a moment about why you took a photo in the first place. Chances are, you really liked what you saw and experienced and hence you took a photo with the goal in mind that this photo will later transport you back to that moment. Right?! So, if that’s the case, you didn’t think about a photo legacy or anything else but really you thought about bringing joy into your own life.
Hence, I invite you to do something with your photos so you can enjoy them and the memories that are attached to them.
You don’t have to spend days and weeks decluttering and curating your entire photo collection. You could simply choose your very favourite photos and create projects you enjoy. Here are some options:
- A collage that you then have printed on a canvas to go up on your wall.
- A digital photo frame on which your photographic highlights rotate and you can see and enjoy them every day.
- A photo book of your 100 most important photos to document your life. We’ve recently talked about this in podcast episode #72. This might not be a minimal effort but possibly not as difficult as it sounds – try it.
- Grab some of your most important printed photos and put them in a traditional album with some handwritten notes or stories.
- Create a family history photo book including stories.
2. Ask around
Even if you don’t have children to leave your photos to or possibly not even nephews or nieces, there might be other relatives or friends who are absolutely interested in some of your photos and stories. You don’t know if you don’t ask … hence, I strongly encourage you to get in touch with these people and simply ask. You might be surprised and find a Genealogy fan who can’t wait to get their hands on some of your photos and stories!
If this undertaking is fruitless, you might consider adding some information and maybe a few significant photos to a Genealogy site such as Ancestry. You never know, maybe a few decades or even centuries from now, somebody might be really grateful that you did.
3. Do nothing!
You might simply think ‘it’s all too much and there is no real point in investing time and possibly money into that project’.
That’s totally fine. Maybe it will never happen or maybe it’s just not the right time yet. Maybe it will never be.
So, just leave it (for now) and do nothing – that’s totally fine!
If that’s what you decide to do, I’d still encourage you to at least store your prints safely (check out this post that talks more about it) and to back up your digital photos! Remember, you are still here and want to enjoy your photos and memories. Hence, let’s keep them safe. If you’re not sure how to do this, download your free backup guide here.
- Episode 3: Know your Why
- Episode 31: What to do with inherited photos?
- Episode 34: Story Telling with your photos
- Episode 37: Exploring Genealogy
- Episode 47: What should I do with my old photo albums?
- Episode 57: Story Jotting with Katie
- Episode 60: How many photos do we really need?
- Episode 72: Which 100 photos would you choose to document your life?
- Episode 76: What to do with slides?
- Episode 77: Why bother preserving your photos?