So Many Photos, So Little Context…Until Now!

I would get lost looking through photos of the kids when they were small and of the ones of us on family vacations. There is something magical about being transported back to those great experiences. But photos only take you part of the way. You need context.

You shared a great experience with friends. Maybe it was that weekend at the cottage. Or perhaps it was that fun, backyard cookout, the one where the hosts’ friends went all Godfather and left the roasted pig’s head on a platter on their bed (LOL, that actually happened). 

You take photos. And if you are like most people, those photos then sit on a drive somewhere, only to be looked at again when you decide to do some technology spring cleaning and you notice them again. Why is that? Well I can answer that for myself…I never had a good way to store them that presented them as anything more than just simply photos in a folder.

My husband and I are prolific organizers. To quote Benjamin Franklin, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” We have tens upon tens of thousands of photos. They sit in folders organized by vacation or event, by child, and in some cases, just to make sure we can always find them, they were duplicated and added to other differently labelled folders. Crazy, yes.

We thought we had the perfect organization system. The issue was that we only went back and looked at them if we were looking for something else to begin with. They were never top of mind. When I would see them, I would open a few up and then I was done. I would get lost looking through the ones of the kids when they were small and of the ones of us on family vacations. 

There is something magical about being transported back. But photos only take you part of the way. You need context. 

Back before everything was digital (yes, I am that old), I made a scrapbook of my first son’s early years and filled it with print photos. I did the same for our wedding and early vacations. I can’t tell you the last time I looked at those albums. As I started writing this, I was prompted to take a peek and was shocked at how many print photos there were (many that I had completely forgotten about).

As I flipped through the photos, I was was saddened by how far the memories had faded. Exactly what restaurant was that where I had that amazing flaming drink? And darn, I can’t remember the name of that place in Mexico where we swam in that cenote – I still cringe when I think about those bats. Those were such great experiences and yet they seem only distant memories. Now, thanks to Experium, I don’t have to worry about that any more.

Now I can plan and organize all my experiences, detailing flights, accommodations, food & drink, transportation, and activities. I can invite others, whether they be one person or a group, and allow them to collaborate. I can even add private for-their-eyes-only details. 

And to my heart’s delight, I can add photos to each experience. I can tag them and write descriptions to aid my declining memory. I can include the people I shared the experience with, allowing them to add their own photos. No need to ask anymore. 

And for all those random photos, I can create albums. I have an album for each of my children, a digital treasure trove of photos that we can add to. Hundreds of photos of just them. And when they leave the nest, I can transfer ownership over to them. We have the same for family albums and albums with friends. It’s perfect!

I have all my experiences in one place, displayed beautifully in a timeline that actually looks like a timeline. It gives every important detail a place to live. Now I just have to digitize all those print photos and I am all set! All my best experiences laid out in exquisite detail.

Lisa Brown

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