How to Keep Family Photos
Remember flipping through childhood photos and family memories on your parents' couch? The 4x6 glossy images were slid into sometimes-falling-apart cellophane sleeves in a well-loved photo album. That joy is pretty irreplaceable, right? Let's be honest, we still flip through those books when we get a chance.
Fast forward to the last 10 years when digital photography has become "the thing", and we don't have to print our photos to see what we captured anymore. That's great for our storage issues, but is terrible for keeping us accountable to printing our photos.
Darren and I are notorious for going places with our camera ... and then not using it. *facepalm* We're much more likely to snap photos on our phone! When we had Dominic, I started thinking about how we'd capture every little moment in a way that he could peruse whenever he wanted.
Now, when we have visitors, I get so many questions on how we document life in photos that I thought I'd share a bit behind-the-scenes.
With his Emily Ley baby book (highly recommend!) to capture the special at-birth images, monthly milestones, and growing "firsts", and our Project Life scrapbook to document family photo shoots, vacations, and other big occasions (birthdays/life events/etc), I was at a loss of what to do with the gazillion images I snapped every week on my phone. Those images were the day-to-day "mundane" silly moments and expressions that make up life. They couldn't just stay on my phone and then get moved to my hard drive.
Hold what matters.
Enter Chatbooks. I'm obsessed with what they've created--an EASY way to print my daily photos that doesn't require a lot of work for this busy mama. Sign me up.
The photos that I'm taking the time to snap and share already now conveniently upload to my Chatbooks app and get loaded into a 60-image book with the corresponding caption. Each time the book is complete, I receive a notification to review it before it goes to print three days later. During this waiting period, I can rearrange photos, upload and swap photos with others in my phone's library, or change the cover photo.
So far, we've received four books from the time Dominic was born. He isn't old enough to flip through them, but watching family and friends fall in love with the memories sitting on our coffee table is so special.
I did create a mini Project Life mini album (yay! They're still available!) for Dominic to flip through with extra photos that didn't make the cut for the family book. I picked up the mini albums on major clearance around the time he was born. My intent in doing so was that I wouldn't care so much about keeping them pristine...and it's a good thing I don't! It bears teeth marks in the faux leather cover now, but he gets absolutely giddy flipping through his little book of us. I can still hear him giggling and chatting to himself as he turns the pages!
Create a system that works for you!
This "system" of documenting our life in print is a bit scattered for some, I'll admit. But, it keeps us on track with printing our photos, documenting life as it happens, and preserving a legacy for our family. So often, I've heard mamas say, "I still have to do so-and-so's first year photo book, and he's three!" I don't want to fall behind because it's so daunting to have to catch up. Having a process really helps me stay on top of things!
The biggest key is to find something that works for you. So, take bits of this if it inspires you and leave others! Find a way that works for you and preserve memories for your family. Even if it's printing everything like our parents did and throwing it in an old-school photo album!
Have you used Chatbooks or do you have another way of documenting your legacy? I'd love to hear how you're doing it!