Sunday, 12 October 2014

Memories Are Precious

How many photos do you have sitting on your laptop?

I have 8,325 (currently) in 135 events. Goodness knows how many are sitting on numerous CD's in the drawer of my desk in my office.

But not ALL of them are found there.

We have 18 Creative Memories albums (12x12) and 14 albums created online using either or via iPhotos with us. Can't remember the number we have in storage in Sydney. The one's we have with us are 11 years of memories, starting when I was pregnant with MissM. No way they were going into storage!

We love reminiscing. We laugh. Retell stories. Relive the events that make us the family we are.

Where are your photos???????????????????

We all take more photo's than ever before as our mobile phones are more camera than phone these days. We snap and upload to FaceBook or Instagram all the time.

I often wonder what's happened to retail camera sales. You'd be right if you said they are decreasing, rapidly.

We still use our fancy camera. The array of modes available far out preform our Samsung phones, but the Samsung's camera is pretty awesome! Admittedly, the majority of photos that get printed into albums are from the camera. There's still a way to go with the phones camera in terms of this, and I can't remember the last time we had actual prints made.

All these instant pics on Facebook and Instagram are just that - instant 5 seconds of sharing.

But what happens to the REAL memories, the one's you want the kids to have when they leave home for college, or the one's you want your grandkids to see as a means of getting to know their family heritage.

When we're out'n'about, and see people with cameras, I wonder what do people do with all the photos they take?

What's the point of taking photo's if NOT to print them into an album to be ultimately shared?

Many years ago, I was a Creative Memories consultant - the first global company selling photo-safe products, guaranteed not to fade your photos. We preached 'living memories' to the converted; we instructed clients on the importance of 'every picture tells a story and it's your obligation to tell it' (Creative Memories called it journalling). Clients undid old, unsafe albums saving their precious memories from fading (unless they had already started, the proof was obvious), or salvaging boxes of photos from the attic/garage/cupboard/under the bed and sorting the years of accumulated memories.

Aside from the American fanfare that accompanied the monthly consultant meetings, the philosophy of creating photo albums bursting with memories resonated with me, and many others.

I was the worst consultant! I seldom embellished my pages with stickers'n'paper as to me, it was all about the photos and the journalling (and still is); the fancy schmancy pages detracted from the photos. My clients agreed, so I sold lots of pages and albums etc, but not much of anything else.

Sadly, but for obvious reasons, CM no longer exists.

It's all online publishing now.

Personally, I love online publishing, especially with my magazine and newspaper experience. It's like laying out a publication! I'm probably too organised, with my double page spread approach, and the need to have photo's in chronological order, or albums themed.

G throws his eyes to the ceiling when I ask him to proof read yet another album prior to ordering it. I know he secretly loves them!

May I share some helpful hints with you about creating your albums?

  • As you download photos from your camera or phone to the laptop, create a file for the album (create title) and choose the pics you want in the album as you go as this saves time when you're ready to start the album and ensures you have ALL the photos for the album you want.
  • Once the pics are in the album file, edit them. We take pretty good photos, and I'm lazy, so all I do is crop the pics
    • remove unnecessary sky/grass/footpath/road/people
    • focus on the main image of the pic as much as possible
    • leave curious symbols from the era - cars, signs, buildings etc will one day be 'old fashioned' and be an important part of your history
    • ensure the pics are in the order you want the to appear in the album
  • Grab a pen'n'paper and count each 'group' of photos and start to work out your layout or how the pics will flow in the album.
  • Some themes to consider:
    • An annual school album for each child celebrating all that happened that year. This gets harder as they get older as you are not at school as often, but while you can make the most of it
      • photos of first day school year,  
      • class room, 
      • teachers, 
      • friends, 
      • sports days, 
      • concerts,
      • art - OMG, photograph all the artwork that comes home!
      • projects/assignments
      • last day of school
      • I also include MissM's ballet, drama etc in her school album as it helps to fill it up as her last few schools weren't so keen on parents being around taking photos.
    • Holiday's
      • Not every holiday demands a album to itself, but special holidays do.
    • Reunions
    • Special Events
      • an album created as a gift is a truly stunning thoughtful gift
      • A '0' birthday
      • Anniversary
      • Engagement/Wedding
        • for the above albums it's nice to invite guests to send you good quality pics to be included in the album,
        • depending on the stock used, (in terms of what ink pens you use) you can leave some of the text boxes blank and ask guests to sign the book
    • An ongoing annual album
      • Our main albums are simply a compilation of all we get up to (other than the event albums)
      • As we take photos, we download them and choose the ones we want in the album and file them into the 'Dublin January '14 - ?' file til it's got about 300 pics, then we create the album. 
        • We've 3 albums from the time we lived in Winchester and they are called, Winchester Book 1, Winchester Book 2 and, you guessed it Winchester Book 3.
        • Filing as you go saves so much time!!!!!!!!!!!
          • it allows you to write notes so you remember where you were (sometimes castles, temples, ruins, churches look the same after a while) and what memory you might want to include

I use these days (but there are many more out there)  It's creative, easy to use, flexible and the company is constantly emailing offers to save money! I create the albums, G proof reads them and they sit on my laptop til a good deal arrives. 

The only downside to this is that we don't print photos anymore. Mum and my in-laws miss out on hard copy prints; we email them photos all the time so they know what we're up to, but they often ask for printed pics. It's something we just don't think about doing. 

SIL is the same. Which is sad, cos we don't have records of the kids growing up and doing stuff other than what we see on FB. When I was doing CM it was easy to leave pages blank and fill them with hard copy prints when SIL sent them .... and I did the same for her, so we could include each other in our albums. Now we both print online, it's harder for some reason to do this. 

Gosh, we don't even download to CD's anymore, it's all on the hard drive.

I'm about to sign off now and find a couple of CD's and pop as many pics on it as I can and post it to Mum, SIL and inlays tomorrow. 

What do you do with your photos?
Where are they?
Are you inspired to create an album online?

With friendship

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