1 Nov 2016

capturing & preserving memories {photography}

My blog has been a bit neglected in lieu of most of my energy going into trying to keep 4 little people alive, fed and clean! Anyone who has followed me for any time knows that there are seasons...

Recently i've been reflecting on how to best share our family photos with our kids. I read this article on the Huffington Post about Family Portraits and it made me smile... that at least we're doing a few things right. When we grew up photography and photo albums seemed so much simpler... like there were fewer options. The problem in those days was having boxes of negatives around... We held on to them wondering will i ever need to reprint or use these again? Now we have hard drives full of digital images. And the more time you've invested into learning photography, the likelihood is the more hard drive space you're taking up! But at least back in the day people got their film developed... they had to! And those photos usually made it into albums that you could open and look at. 

Can i share something? I'm concerned for our kids... that the most documented generation will have very little actually preserved, that we will hand our kids not a box full of negatives but a hard drive full of images... that they will never look at! So a friend and i are setting out to cull down our images, purposefully reducing the # of images stored each month to have a more useful collection of memories. But I also want to make sure we are printing our photos. Here are 3 ways:

1. Family Photo Albums - I've posted in the past that we love Blurb albums for our family year books. I've been making these since we got married (2010) and we love having them completed each year after Christmas and delivered soon after! What a joy it is to look back on our family adventures, and watch our family grow! But the kids don't get to look at these albums... at least not without an adult. We have .pdf versions as well and can always have them reprinted, but our kids are still small (the oldest of 4 being almost 6).

2. Kid Albums - It's hard to know what to do for the kids... i've debated this in my head for a long time. I really do want them to have something to look at, as kids LOVE looking at photos. (We usually have a slide show of family photos as our screen saver on our TV in our living room!) But this year with this amazing promo from chatbooks, i was sold. (If you haven't seen it yet, it is seriously hilarious!) So our kids will be getting custom chatbooks this year in their stockings! (or maybe a bit later, since Santa's sleigh aka. our north american delivery will be in January).

I used mostly instagram photos, because i love the daily aspect of 'life' that's captured there, and added a few of my favourites from my DSLR of each of the boys to make them look a little nicer and give them a nice cover photo. They cost $14 each, which is totally reasonable and i hope they survive little hands. But even if they don't, i still think it's money well spent! It will be a trial run this year to see how the boys like them and treat them. Maybe this will become a yearly tradition :)

3. Family Portraits - We try to take family photos 2x/ year. Every spring (once the weather gets nice) and every fall (while the weather is still warm).  The little guys are growing so fast, and we don't want to miss capturing the little years. But to be honest it's not easy. Taking family photos of 4 boys under 6, is hard. We usually use a tripod, and someone usually ends up crying... it's a great time to practice patience and extending grace... as well as handing out bribes! We have one of those family portraits (that my sister took!) large and blown up on our wall, and i love it. Within the next year or so we will replace it because we have a new member to our family :)

I have several other mini-projects going on... like making family films, 100 days of summer, special albums and i try to print when deals pop up. I love artifact uprising's square print set and right now zno has a free trial on for a free layflat album that i just ordered! (By the way none of these are affiliate links, except blurb - where if you order they will credit a small discount on my next order. I'm sharing these websites and products because our family really loves them and they work for us!)

How do you print your family photos? How do you share pictures with your kids? I'd love to hear!