What to Do with Portrait and Artwork Collections?

Over the years, individual school or class photos, professional family portraits, and other memorable pictures can accumulate. And what about artwork the kids did at school, professional pieces you bought, and gifts you received? You don’t want to let go of anything, but how do you organize and preserve it?

Sorting the Collection

You’ll need to decide what should be kept and preserved by sorting through your collection and discarding duplicates or sharing them with family and friends. Traditional print photos and artwork should be digitized by scanning or photographing to ensure you always have a copy that can’t be lost or damaged. Original pictures and reprints in different sizes can be put into traditional frames to create a beautiful wall collage you can appreciate every day. Scanned artwork and digital photos work perfectly in digital frames to create slideshows. The ability to display multiple images lets you enjoy more of your photos and artwork without taking up too much space in your home. Images can be added, deleted, and shared with other frames conveniently whenever you like.

Note: If you are worried about copyright issues, all professional photographers and artists allow you to copy your images for archive purposes within your own family.

Creative Ideas for School Photo Collections

You may be displaying the most recent school photos in traditional frames on your walls but also have envelopes full of unused prints sitting in boxes or file drawers collecting dust. Older school portraits often came as a package in various sizes. We recommend keeping only the 5×7 and 8x10s because they are the best sizes to scan and preserve. Once you’ve scanned them, the odd sizes and duplicates can be discarded.

As you collect school photos, you can put your most recent student portraits in a traditional frame, adding the new ones on top as you go. You can also display a series showing how they’ve grown, but it can get unwieldy after several years, and you will probably change them at some point. For creative ideas for showcasing school photos, take a look at our blog article 7 Creative Ways to Showcase Yearly School Photos. All of your class portraits, individual school photos, and sports pictures can be put in one album or made for each child.

Ideas for Your Family Portrait Collections

Just like student photos, you can always keep the most recent family portraits in the frame and put the old ones behind the new print. But you can also digitize the previous pictures by scanning them. If the photos were taken recently, you might be able to ask the photographer for high-resolution copies that are great for enlarging or using in a photo album.

You can also see more of your photos and preserve them by putting them into a digital frame. We can recommend both digital and traditional frames for updated designs that fit your current home décor.

We scanned a client’s framed items and dedicated a digital frame just for her portraits. She was able to enjoy all her family photos through the years as her frame scrolled through them. We also make traditional print albums and digital photo collages for the same purpose.

More Ideas for Artwork Collections

From homemade art to purchased and inherited pieces, keep all your artwork safe by taking a high-quality photo to keep a record for home inventory. Depending on their value, this makes sense for insurance purposes too. You can use these copies to make a print artwork book or digital gallery album where each piece will remain safe from fingerprints, light, dust, or damage. Reframe the images to make a wall collage or repurpose as a legacy memory album. Read our article on tips for creating a wall collage or art gallery with your photos.

Tip: If you wish to discard artwork, please consider supporting resellers like Good Will, that can sell it to support a cause. It is also environmentally friendly to let someone else enjoy the art rather than sending it to the landfill.

Contact us at Picture This Organized for help organizing, preserving, and displaying any size collection of photographs and artwork. The longer it sits in boxes or envelopes, the more likely these treasures can be lost or damaged. Enjoy as much of them as you can on the wall or in frames, scan originals to preserve them, and know you can discard the duplicates that may be taking up valuable space. Once you are done, you can easily add to the collection, share copies, and keep things under control.

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