Wednesday, January 13, 2010


We've got an intricate, fiercely organized, digital collection of photos, dating back to the year 2002, backed up in a couple locations. But over the past three years, I haven't printed our everyday snapshots, at all. I could print them anytime I needed one. They're categorized so well on flickr, I can find anything I'm looking for fast. I look at them when I want to, I sometimes show them to the girls for fun, but they aren't printed. I dutifully filled out photo albums for Grace and Patience for a few years, then once Lily came around, it all just seemed so unattainable to continue- it took money to order enough snapshots from every month to fill up an album for each of them with all our everydayness (so they'd have a giant library each someday). It took TIME that I just couldn't see spending. I felt like a slave to our constantly-updated albums. And, I take about 1000 shots a month, just of us, so it just got to be too much.

Photographs adorn our walls and stairwells. We've got pictures everywhere. I print off fun snapshots that make the girls happy- pictures of fun things, or of them, that they keep in their personal treasure boxes for themselves. But I don't make printed, everyday, albums.

And I have this little blog, where we catalog all kinds of everydayness, which has proven to be an invaluable family record, as I look back over the past few recorded years. And if our kids want to look back on this digital-scrapbook, they can. And if they, when they are older, want all the photos from their growing up years, I can just send them the flickr links, or burn them some DVDs of the files the want, or whatever we'll do to share files by then, because it will surely be very different from now, and they can print at will. Because as technology changes, I'll keep moving all those old files forward. They're priceless to me.

So this year, I finally did it and started a new January tradition. I created a book for 2009. It was super-fast, simple, and really, really rewarding. It's leather bound, and over 100 12x12 pages. A selection of everyday snapshot highlights through the year, coupled with highlighted texts of birthday letters etc, and other photographs. I can't wait to receive it in the mail. Even Jim is excited about it. To me, not a scapbooker, this was a perfect compromise, and very affordable, when compared to the old printing, shipping, time-spending, album-buying-and-filling option for our family of 6. Snapfish saves my old projects, so there's a chance additional copies would be available down the road. A chance. Who knows. I could have created storyboards in Photoshop and made it highly customized and personalized, then created a snazzy album via my regular printer, but that would have taken much more time. This was crazy simple. The occasional frustration in not getting a page exactly how I wanted it was worth it to me.

And can I just say, of course this Mama was in tears for most of it's creation?? I'm always such a sap for memories...

For a photographer Mom who loves filling memories with her kids much more than albums, this was a perfect compromise.


Danielle said...

I'm not a scrapbooker either and did this very thing last year using Blurb Book. Loved the result! I've gotten half of this year's book designed and need to really finish it, although I've put it off since we have no income and I'm not sure when we can purchase it. But I should go ahead and get it finished anyway! I definitely want to do one every year!

Megan O. said...

I looked through it and its great. Love the text mixed in. That will be so cherished, the only problem is your kids will all wish they had one someday! I've started doing these for our moms for Christmas (much much smaller versions) and this past Christmas I ordered one for myself too. I want it to sit out but I'm too scared of what my kids might do to it! :)

Kimberly said...

THis is such a great idea. I'm so not a scrapbooker, so this is very encouraging. Thanks for the suggestion! I need to see if I can look it over, I think it was asking for a password.

Shelby-Grace said...

I have been wanting to do something with all my everyday photos for a long time. I need to get organized and do something like this! Yours was such a wonderful book! Something really memorable to have for years to come.