Considering I work full-time as a photographer it will probably come as no surprise to my readers that I have quite a few photos of my own kids. Although I must admit it’s not as many as you might think. Sometimes I have to remind myself to pick up the camera and document my own family every now and again as it’s easy to let my gear rest in its case when I’m not working. On top of that I tend to be very critical of my photos and when I’m shooting my kids it’s often random chaos in less than ideal shooting conditions. Thankfully, I’m learning to take off my professional photographer hat when documenting my family and I just do the best I can with what I have. In other words, I guess I’m beginning to embrace imperfection and appreciating the photos for what they are. For several years I had a collection of photos stored in boxes in my basement. As the boys grew, so did the pile of boxes! I knew I needed to find a solution so my photos didn’t sit stored in my basement or on my computer until my boys graduated from high school and I was forced to do something with them. After spending quite some time thinking through how I wanted to preserve our family photos I decided to move forward with albums for each of the boys.
Some of you might wonder why I wouldn’t choose a digital album like the books I create for my clients. Truth be told, I came very close to choosing this as an option. However, there is something so nostalgic for me when I look back at old family photos of my own. I’ve loved having hardcopy prints over the years and I especially love when there is a handwritten note accompanied by the photo. For me there is something significant about passing down photographs and handwritten notes from generation to generation and it’s a tradition I’d like to continue with my boys.
I often find myself having conversations with clients and friends when they ask how they can preserve their own everyday photos so I thought I’d take some time to share what I’ve found works for me. In the photo above you’ll see I use 12 in x 12 in We R Memory Maker Linen Albums for my boys. These 3-ring style binders hold a variety of clear plastic photo sleeves designed to hold an assortment of photo sizes. I use both We R Memory Maker photo sleeves along with some Project Life pages. When I take personal photos I store them in a folder on my computer and every two months or so I go through and print the pictures I’d like to include in their memory books. Then it’s simply a matter of putting the photos in the sleeves and jotting down a few details on a journaling card. You can buy journaling cards at most on-line and brick-and-mortar scrapbook stores or create and print your own. I’ve also created a set of printables (shown below) that you can download for FREE HERE.
Now, having said that I will tell you that often times when we are out and about and I’m without my camera I have to rely on my iPhone and Instagram. Over the past year I’ve built quite a collection of photos and I am planning to put those images into a softcover digital book printed through Artifact Uprising. This really makes it so I have the best of both worlds knowing that my boys will have hardcopy printed photographs along with a digital album filled with fun family memories captured on the fly.
I’d love to hear about how you preserve your everyday family photos. Feel free to leave a comment below!