Guest blog by Denise Brinkman, photo organizing educator at Denise Brinkman Creative
Ever since I moved away from my home state seven years ago, I’ve had to get creative with ways to stay in touch with my family back home. But now, during pandemic quarantines, even people who have family living nearby may be facing this same question… How do we connect with loved ones if we can’t see them in person?
For me, one of the recurring answers has been PHOTOS! And now, photos can keep you connected during quarantine – not just when you move away from family!! So today I wanted to share three photo-related ideas for bringing joy to your family and friends when you’re apart (for whatever reason).
WiFi Photo Frames:
One of the best gifts I’ve ever given was the Nixplay digital photo frame that my siblings and I gave to our dad while he was living in a nursing home. Everyone can add photos to it remotely, so we can each continually update the frame just by emailing a designated email address or by uploading with an app.
For the initial setup, I ordered the frame to be shipped to my house so that we could test out the remote uploading process before I shipped the pre-loaded frame to the nursing home. The only tech step required on the recipient’s end is to connect the frame to wifi so that it continues to update.
This frame has been a blessing to my family. It’s been a way to share visual updates with a family member who isn’t on social media. Not to mention, it’s been a conversation piece with nursing home staff and visitors. And it has made our widespread family seem not so far away. So I bet that during a pandemic, a frame like this could be a welcomed gift to quarantined families too. Digital photos can keep you connected during quarantine just as well as physical ones!
Sending 4×6 prints in the mail:
Everyone loves getting mail that’s not bills or advertisements. Brighten a bunch of people’s days by livening their mailboxes with some printed photos!
You could send your college roommate some random throwback photos of dorm shenanigans. Maybe send your parents some recent photos of their grandkids at play. You could send your cousin the fun photo your wedding photographer took of her at your reception.
Ship the prints to yourself, scribble “just thinking of you” on the back, pop them in the mail, and wait for the excited “wow, thanks for the surprise!” texts to pour in a few days later!
Shared Google Photos Album (or any online photo sharing platform):
My daughter’s grandparents, aunts, and uncles live across the country from us, so I’ve been adding photos and videos of her to this album ever since she was born. It has been an essential way for them to watch her grow even though there are thousands of miles between us.
Unlike on social media, I don’t need to worry about privacy levels, oversharing with followers who aren’t into babies, or adding the perfect captions. In fact, I don’t add ANY captions because I know that step would put me at risk of putting it off and falling behind.
What helps is that I’ve gotten in the habit of sorting my iPhone photos weekly – deleting the near duplicates, moving the junk screenshots elsewhere, and most importantly — favoriting the best photos to add to this album! My desire to update this shared album has been the motivation I needed to stay on top of my digital photos once and for all.
And because it feels so good to not have my camera roll be a disaster zone anymore, I’ve become passionate about sharing digital photo organization tips over on my Instagram account @deniserathbrinkman. Come follow me for more photo-related ideas, advice, and motivation. I’d love to help you organize and find more ways photos can keep you connected during quarantine and beyond!
Denise teaches photo-overloaded moms tips and tricks for managing their digital photo collection so that the memories that matter most will be easily accessible (and usable!) without digging through the junk. Her “Control Your Camera Roll” course is coming soon, so sign up for the inside scoop at DeniseBrinkman.com or follow along on Instagram at @deniserathbrinkman.