16 December 2016

Photos in the Digital Age

Back in high school and college, I used to make photos albums. Some were elaborate scrapbooks with fancy papers and decorations from Archivers. Others were a compilation of photos taken on film cameras during a sports season or semester of college. I usually had the glowing, red-eye pupils, the quality of photos printed at the local drugstore was less-than-great, and it was hit or miss if you captured the moments as you remembered them.



But regardless of the professionalism or how they were arranged, at least I printed my photos. I had hard copies of these memories. The images weren't lost in old computers I can no longer access because of forgotten passwords. 

Today, we take unlimited digital photos. We may snap 10 photos of one place in time, just to make sure it was perfectly captured. If you're like me, you don't go back to delete the 9 that had shut eyes, were blurry or weren't framed right. These photos sit on our phones, might get transferred over to a computer or live in the cloud. No one sees them, or remembers them, but some how they were so important to take that you almost didn't enjoy the real moment because you were stuck behind your screen.  

I still have thousands of photos that are not edited or sorted. They sit on my computer for days when I am feeling nostalgic and wish to remember how tiny my Kiki was at 3 months or to relive those long vacation days on a beach. But a few weeks ago, I decided I needed to take some action to get control of these photos. They were slowing down my computer, making it almost useless. I visited the Genius Bar at the Apple Store.


With my hard-drive cleaned up and my photos in one place, easily accessible, I can get back to making my albums. So, what do I do to document my memories? I have had great luck creating photo albums right from my computer, using the Photos app and creating a "Project." 


These projects turn into hard or soft covered albums of various sizes. There are many formats and layouts from which to chose. Select your favorite photos from a vacation or time period, import them to your project, then click and drag. I include as many captions as I can to remember the name of hotels, sights or feelings. When the project is completed, it is printed and shipped to my doorstep. 



I just completed our summer travel album - it was a bit later than I had hoped, but it was really nice to revisit the photos from our vacation. The hardest part is gathering photos from everyone's phones and cameras, putting them in one spot and picking your favorites. My next project is to go through photos from 2016 and pick favorites of Kiki dancing, swimming, playing with friends, hiking, going off to preschool and growing up way too fast.



I know I am not the only one with unorganized photos that long for a home. These projects can seem overwhelming if you have a backlog of years of photos. Start with one vacation and enjoy a trip down memory lane. You may find it is less of a chore than you think and maybe you'll make that next album sooner than you think!


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