Last week when I was putting together our 2008 Project Life album with the Jade Edition, I had some pretty big “ah-ha” moments that I wanted to share, and remind myself.
- On storing photos on the computer: As I was going through the photos on my computer, I realized that while I have our years pretty well documenting, we weren’t really enjoying our photos. Brian and I had an incredible couple of years of traveling before we started having babies, and we never looked at our photos anymore. I decided that we needed to get our photos printed so that not only would we flip through the photos, but so would our children.
- On storing photos in an album: Once I got the photos printed, I really wanted a place to keep it all in somewhat chronological order, or in a way that would be easy for us to access the pictures. Enter Project Life. As I was slipping the photos into the page protectors though, I saw that these photos would not really make sense to anyone but me, and possibly Brian. This leads me to…
- On telling the stories behind the photos: It really struck a chord with me that I have photos from my grandfather’s travels and there is no story behind it. Sure, there is a photo of him walking on the Great Wall, but there are also mystery photos of him on a boat, and photos of my grandmother decked out in a very stylish coat. I would love to have known more about the story behind the photo. Why did he travel to the Great Wall? Where did my grandmother get such a gorgeous coat? Why is this picture significant?If something happened to me tomorrow, I want my kids (and maybe the future generations) to know that there is a hilarious story in the 2008 album about when Brian and I were in Las Vegas that involved Star Trek characters. This also made me a little bit sad because in some of the photos, I could not remember the significance of why I needed to take a certain photo because I never journaled it anywhere. It makes me sad to walk through a thrift store and there are photos of families, or kids, or whoever. Without the story behind the photo, I don’t think there is much of a point.
- On why I do what I do: A couple of weeks ago, I read this wonderful article from The New York Times on Family Stories. I immediately forwarded the link to Brian and told him this is one reason why I am crazy about memory keeping. I am our family’s historian, which leads me to…
- On other people’s memories: As I was getting photos ready to be printed, I had photos from random events like photos of a boyfriend and girlfriend, tourist photos of buildings, or exhibits from museums. I decided not to get them printed.I am going to document the photos that are important to me and my job as the family “historian.” I am not responsible for other people’s memories. I used to hold onto birthday and Christmas cards from friends and families, but now when we get them, I enjoy them and then I will toss them out after a little while. I love getting happy mail, but it is not my job to hang onto those items. I had the same realization with the photos.While an occasional image of a zoo animal might be in the album, I found it more important to include the photos of people who were there to enjoy the experience with us. Plus, how many images do you really need of a penguin? Or will this photo of another couple/family that does not involve my family in any way matter? 🙂
In conclusion: For our personal family life, I am going to take the photos that are important to me and the story I am going to tell.
It’s funny how putting together an album will draw all these big thoughts from my mind!