Some of my fondest family memories have been the ones where my family sat down in a huddle and turned the pages of our photo album, a real book with real pictures and wonderful memories.
Many times during these huddles, our individual stories would come out. Either mom and dad would expand on how we were when we were too small to remember or, as we got older, we could tell our own perspectives of the moment that the picture in front of us held. Often, these times were filled with laughter, fun and the closeness of a family.
If you want an activity that can give you a closer family, this is probably one of the best family bonding experiences. It's one of those activities that gives you one-on-one time with your family, young or old, and helps you re-live not only your story but theirs, which is an important part of who you are as a family and as individuals.
Today, computers and TVs play slideshows, but it’s not the same as having those memories in hand as slideshows move on to the next picture too quickly. In my opinion, you lose some of the closeness a physical picture can create. Don’t let your pictures sit out in cyberspace forever, make them real things.
When deciding which ones to get developed, try to remember a few things:
- Step out of your own perspective for a minute and think about your whole family and which perspective they may want to remember forever before you discard a picture.
- Try not to be overly critical. A picture where your hair may be slightly out of place when hugging your child may be one of your childs’ favorites as they grow up. You shouldn’t destroy a memory another may cherish because you don’t like the way you look. This one is especially difficult for me as I am not a photogenic person but I have to remember that these aren’t just my memories, they are my families’ too so there is a middle ground that I have to come to when picking which ones to send to the printers.
You may say “Christy, I’m so busy, I have eight kids, a full time job, a demanding spouse, I don’t have time to get them developed or organize them afterwards!”
To that I would recommend, find the time, it's an easy task! Here are some of the photo related things you can do while you are cleaning, showering, cooking, feeding, or doing whatever your busy self is doing. These are multi-tasking opportunities.
- Plug your camera into your computer to upload your photos
- Upload your photos to the site of your choice for backup and future (near future) developing.
- Note: You can always go back and edit which ones you want to keep later during those rare few minutes of peace in your life, but when you’re busy, just get them off your disc.
Find a photo developer that is convenient for you. There are developers who will deliver right to your mailbox. If you don’t want to pay the extra shipping, you can order from your local department store and then you can pick them up on your regular trip there.
You say, “Then what? I don’t have time to put them all in a book, organize them, etc., they will just sit in their envelopes and gather in strange places all over the house.” Let me give you an easy solution. Get a photo box!
When you receive your real, touchable, hold in the hands photos, write on the envelope (be sure to take the pictures out of the enveope first) the occassion inside with a general date, or date range, and stick them in the box for snowy or rainy days. On the snowy or rainy days, organizing them either in a book or in some sort of organizational order would make a great family moment. You can bring in your older kids to help.
For the older pictures, organize them best you can but don’t put too much pressure on yourself to remember exact dates, just get them in your box or book.
Make sure if you put them in a book, it has acid free pages as the acid in the old books have been known to contribute to the detrioration of photos. Most photo albums made today are safe, but this may be another good reminder to remove old pictures from old albums to save them from further detrioration.
In summary, make your picture memories a priority. It may not seem important in the everyday busyness of our lives but the moments when you all sit down together, turn off the tv, and go through those little snapshots of time will create memories in themselves, give you together time and you’ll even likely hear others differing perspectives of the same events. Your family will bond and learn more about each other. This is even a great event for older crowds during that Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering! This is one of those beautiful pastimes for all ages, that doesn’t cost a lot and can keep you all entertained for hours on end.
Tell me about your favorite family picture, I'd love to hear about it.
Christy is a local photographer and artist with a family that keeps her hoppin'! To see more of her work check out her website and better yet, 'like' her Facebook business page to see where she'll be in town and get info on great local events.