Older people won't be interested in photo organizing because they don't use computers."

I had a conversation--with an older lady--about photos and managing photo collections. She told me that no one she knows would want to learn about managing their photos because none of them are computer users.

My first thought was, Really?!? Is that true?

james-coleman-738998-unsplash.jpg

My own mother will soon turn 90 years old and she has used a computer for about 30 years. She is not incredibly tech savvy and she no longer does much more than check her email and do a bit of online banking, but she used to scan her old print photos, write stories using a word processing software, and a lot more. I’m pushing into that older demographic myself and I have been using computers for work and personal purposes for many years. I am sure that many older people are comfortable with technology  and are quite capable of learning new computer skills.

My second thought is that managing your photo collection doesn’t mean you have to be a computer expert. You might not want to have your collection in the Cloud, so you don’t have to learn all of the Cloud-based apps. You may want a user-friendly app that doesn’t have too many bells and whistles, but will help you handle the basics of collection management. Perhaps you are primarily interested in your print collection--all of the albums and boxes of prints. Getting all that into order doesn’t require slick computer tools. Anyone with some patience can do it.

And there’s a saying: “Do what you do best and hire the rest.” There are professionals who are expert at digitizing old prints, if that is what you need done. You can hand over your best prints and get back digital images that are optimized for whatever you want to do with them. There are other professionals who are practiced with digital photo book creation software. You can send them your collection of digital images and they will create the book for you. You don’t need specialized equipment, nor training on complex software, to achieve your goals.

My point is that no one should believe that they can’t build the photo collection that can be shared and protected, just because they don’t have mad computer skills. Even if you feel you are only somewhat comfortable with technology, there are MANY computer tools for photo managers to choose from. While some apps do have steep learning curves, that are others that are much more straightforward to learn. The goal is always to design a system you are comfortable using and will want to maintain.

The first question I will always ask is, “What do you want your photo legacy to achieve?” And then we go from there.