The schemes of storing of images in quantum states of atoms being used nowadays are based on electromagnetically induced transparency. The images are stored in the collective atomic coherence with the storage time limited by different relaxation processes in the system with the transverse relaxation being the most detrimental among them. In this communication, we present a method of coherent writing of optical information (a transverse image) into the populations instead of the coherences of the metastable atomic states. The method is based on an action of a sequence of frequency chirped laser pulses on an atom with Λ-structure of working levels. Such storage results in drastic increase of the storage time. The reading out of the stored information is performed by measuring the population of one of the metastable atomic states.