They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and with these tips for labeling photos it truly will be. Because let’s be real. Does a photo of a person hold true meaning if you don’t know who it is? While it was part of your ancestor’s story, it is not a part of your story if you don’t know anything about it. Simple labels give a photo depth and bring meaningful connection to it. People pass and their memories fade through the years, but they don’t have to! Follow these tips for labeling photos so you can keep your family memories alive.
Use Pencil for labeling Photos
Pens can smudge, leave indents, or transfer to other photos it comes in contact with. You may worry about pencils fading, but it takes several years for that to happen. Fading is expedited with moisture or heat exposure, so you may want to consider uploading your photos to FamilySearch. They will be permanently preserved for free, and you can add a caption so you will always know who is in the photos. Plus, everyone will be so grateful you shared!
Label Sides of Photo
When labeling you should press lightly so the indent doesn’t show through on the photo. It’s also a good idea write along the side edge of the photo so if some indentation does occur it won’t be too obvious.
Include Details when labeling photos
Include the date, names of people, and where is was taken. If you don’t know the details, write what you do know and try to find a relative who knows more about it. When you upload photos to FamilySearch, you can add lots of details that won’t fit on the back of a photo. You can include family stories about the people in the photos or about the location where the photo was taken. There’s also a good chance that other people will see it and give you more info about your family.
Share your photos
How is this a tip for labeling photos? Oftentimes there are family members out there who know different details about various family members and the places/items in the photos you have.
Post your photos on social media, send them out in an email, take them to a family gathering, or share on FamilySearch. Maybe someone else will know more about the photo. Even if people don’t have information to add, these ideas can still be helpful. Others might have more photos to share with you now that they know you’re interested!
And to take my own advice, let me tell you a little about the first photo in this post. This is the Allen Family circa 1929. From left to right, mother Lena (Adams) Allen, Leo, Eva with baby Lucille on lap, Eileen, Walter Eugene (my great grandfather), Edna, and father Walter Scott Allen.
Pin this for later so you won’t forget how to keep your family photos meaningful for years to come!