I remember flipping through endless photo albums when I was a kid. My mom had at least 2 shelves full of them, containing picture memories from her and my dad’s early years of marriage through the introduction of each new child to my early teen years. Add on the countless boxes of developed photos that never quite made it into an album, and there were literally decades of memories at my fingertips at all times.
Fast forward to this digital age, and I’m finding myself a bit nostalgic for the photo albums of yore. I have thousands of pictures on my phone, computer hard drive, and various CDs; I have a few digital photo books I created through online services; and I even have a couple scrapbooks stashed away that highlight significant trips and events from our lives. But I don’t have a photo album. Not one. Actually, that’s a lie… I have a photo album somewhere with pictures from my high school Ring Dance (I think in Ohio they call it Junior Prom?). But my kids are not immortalized forever in the protective sleeves of a binder, and for some reason that makes me a little sad.
Maybe it’s because before digital cameras and camera phones, the number of photos you took (and thus developed) were fewer since each snap of film was precious and the roll was finite. So you took 25 pictures, developed them, and shoved them in an album (tossing out the handful that were awkward or bad). Now, I can take 30 photos in the blink of an eye, and I don’t have to send them off to see them. While I love that instant feedback and unlimited potential, that also makes sifting through them to determine which ones to print VERY intimidating and overwhelming (especially since their organization leaves a lot to be desired)- so it’s something I rarely (if ever) do.
But I’m resolving to take back control of my photos! The new addition to our family, the sudden loss of two beloved pets, and a mounting number of digital pictures scattered on various devices are inspiring me to take the time to sort through our memories and start our own photo album shelf. It will definitely be a time consuming task, but if I do a little bit each week, I know I can tackle this project… and my kids will have albums to discover and accessible memories to relive whenever they desire.
Do you have photo albums in your house? Or are you an all-digital family?