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This thought process started awhile back at The Family Narrative, but it didn’t fully hit me until the other day while going through some personal photos from a small family vacation.
My boyfriend’s daughter stopped to look at my screen and stayed for longer than she usually has interest in my photos. I realized then and there, I was inviting her to spend even more time looking at a screen, with just our family photos. She had never seen these photos, and for her, now they live on a screen. Which, ok, is fine. In the end, it’s ok. But my boyfriend and I want more than ok.
We want her to cherish family memories, so she knows the importance of documenting them. We want her to have a book that she would rather pull out and look at instead of pulling out a tablet. And Maybe this is all a little way of resisting technology, but hey why not!? Your computer is bound to fail someday, and unfortunately, so may my backups (I’m talking like end of tech era…haha don’t worry I have plenty of back-ups of your photos). The only true and tangible way of keeping your family photos safe is to print them in some form. Whether that is a box of prints that you pull out every once in awhile, or a shelf of beautiful books full of all those photos.
Think for a moment about those times you have gone to your parents house, and they pull out a large box, or trunk in my mom’s case, of photos. she wants you to ” go through them” to help clean them out. Sure… that won’t happen, but you will get engulfed in countless photos of family vacations and those embarrassing memories from all throughout your childhood. That shit’s addictive. Before you know it, hours have passed and you are recounting endless memories and stories. Now think about the moments after this. How do you feel?
Now let’s replay this scenario without printed images. You all huddle around a computer, or tablet, searching through your rows of files to find that one folder you were thinking of, but can’t remember what you named it. You finally find it, but have to just pull up the photos and cycle through one by one. Yes you relive the same memories, but there is something magical, yes magical about holding your photos in your hands. You can relive the memory, relive the moment. We are so overloaded with images online that it’s 100% feasible that your own personal photos get placed last in your priorities. They loose a tiny bit of their significance and importance.
I may be blowing this all out of proportion, yes I know. But after seeing countless clients hesitate with an album because they “don’t need it,” it’s breaking my heart and I need you all to know.
In the end, an album of your photos is the only thing you need.
I said it. Prints are great, but they can sit in drawers forever and never get framed so they can be seen. Albums are things you put on shelves in your living room, or leave out on the coffee table. They evoke emotion and invite people to be a part of your memories.
Do your future generations a favor, and invest in albums or books. Invest in something that your kids can pull out with their grandchildren and marvel over “how young they were” or “how pretty mom was.” Invest in something that makes you feel something when you open it. I say this all out of love for your family, but by not properly preserving the memories, you will most likely loose them. You are spending money on these photos, why not preserve them properly?