Here’s how one family spent an afternoon creating more than just a family photo album—they came together to share stories, laughter, and memories that will last a lifetime.
By Mollie Bartelt
I help my clients create family photo estates, and Mylio is one of the tools I recommend. Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with JC Figueroa about managing family photo collections with Mylio. As the Customer Champion for Mylio, JC believes in the power of photos to bring families closer together. Not long into our conversation, I could tell we have the same mission in life—preserving family legacies.
Preserving Family Memories Together
To demonstrate some of Mylio’s newer features, JC showed me how his photo collection was organized. As he did, what caught my attention was not just the photo library, but the story he told of how creating it brought his family together.
JC had a collection of pictures from 2019 where at least a dozen close relatives were helping his 85-year-old mother preserve family photos. As a photo estate planner, I knew this was a very special day. Not many families take the opportunity to do this together while their elderly parents are alive.
In his photos, I could see JC’s extended family scanning photos, tagging photos on an iPad, and more. For example, the younger generations were enjoying the time-honored tradition of looking through old print photos with JC’s mom and aunt. You can imagine how connected the generations were feeling that day. There was a lot of laughter, and there were some tears.
Commemorating a Life
JC’s father, Gilberto, had passed away only two years earlier. For some people in that cozy living room, this was the first time they were seeing pictures of Gilberto as a young man. One particular picture included Gilberto graduating with his Master’s degree, a major milestone. Wouldn’t it have been great to talk with their father when he was alive about this moment and so many others?
Instead, when Gilberto passed away, the family had to make do in a hurry. In the rush, they could only find a few photos to celebrate his life at his funeral. At the time, JC worked for a different company and had not yet found Mylio. It was a stressful time to try to track down photos and compile them into a slideshow to share. Therefore, he considers it a blessing and privilege to work for Mylio, where he creates tutorials to help other people preserve their family memories.
Today, JC has an automatically generated album for every important family member or friend in his life, including close to 500 photos of his dad.
Coordinate Your Own Family Memory Preservation Day!
Whether you have older family members left in the family or not, the time to celebrate your family photos is TODAY! A picture is only worth 1,000 words, but only if there’s someone to tell the tale. That is to say, too many memories are being lost, and stories are slipping away.
I highly recommend organizing a family photo day like JC did. Here’s how it played out for JC’s family as photos circled around the room:
- Various nieces and nephews went through the boxes of photos, pulling out the good photos for review.
- JC’s sister Nydia, his mother Brunilda, and his Aunt Lucy reviewed the photos to make sure they were important to save.
- JC used an Epson Fastfoto 680 scanner to speedily scan the photos. Those photos were automatically added to his Mylio account and synced to a nearby iPad.
- His brother-in-law used Mylio on the iPad to start adding descriptions and tagging people in the scanned photos, asking for help if he didn’t know who someone was.
- On the flight back, JC used that iPad to change the dates on the scanned photos so they would appear in the Mylio Calendar view correctly.
- When all was completed in Mylio, JC’s sister Nydia was able to identify which photos she wanted during a Zoom call. JC then exported the photos she wanted and sent her a link to download them.
- JC’s mother and aunt (who lives in the same retirement community) can enjoy looking at the photos on her iPad. She also now has the neatly organized boxes of printed photos to look through when she’d like.
Bringing the Generations Together
JC told me he wished every family could have this experience together. He pointed out that he and his siblings—Nydia and Gilberto, Jr.—had quite different interests in life, and sometimes finding common things to do together was difficult. But, he said that everyone got invested in this photo preservation activity and that, “It really brought us closer, especially the younger generation.” It was especially meaningful to watch as the kids could see how the family came together and connect to life in Puerto Rico, where JC’s family grew up together.
Creating a Family Photo Estate
In my work at Pixologie, I help people create their photo estates, an organized collection where you can enjoy and share the photos while preserving your legacy (or someone else’s) with modern technology. Therefore, I recommend Mylio to people who are looking for a digital photo management program to bring it all together.
JC and his family completed his parent’s photo estate together even though they didn’t call it that at the time. I’m certain that day will be long remembered by everyone who was there.
If your family is not in a position to work on creating a photo estate together, here are some steps you can do on your own.
- First, gather all of your photos in one place.
- Organize once by decades, and then break the decades down by years.
- After that, throw away unnecessary and repetitive/duplicate photos.
- Scan your photos (on a high speed scanner or find a place to have someone scan for you).
- Import into Mylio or wherever you store your digital photos.
- Back them up—one copy in the house and one copy outside of the house.
- Share, celebrate and enjoy!
While the steps here are simple, I know the process can be long and emotional. But, the rewards are immense, and it can be appreciated by family members now and for generations to come.
Consider these four points:
- Photos connect generations
- Pictures inspire people
- Photos strengthen families
- Photos celebrate life
When you think about the power of photos, I hope you’re inspired to help preserve your family’s legacy. JC put it best in our conversation:
“As humans, we are losing the opportunity to preserve our family legacy. This is one of those things in life you just have to make time for.”
Special thanks to JC for letting me share his story! And, if you’d like to learn more about preserving your family’s photo estate, visit Pixologie, where we have helped our clients preserve millions of memories.