Remember the days when we had to use 24 or 36 shots before we could even think about seeing the photographs? Remember the anticipation of the 10 days you had to wait while the film was ‘sent off’ to the lab. Remember the excitement as you walk into the photo-lab or drugstore to pick up your thick package of a white, paper thin envelope with blue tacky glue sealed shut at the top? Remember the belly laughter you had as you opened the prints and discovered the out-takes were some of the best shots in the whole group? Part of me is sad my kids will never know that. Part of me is sad we have become so much of an instant gratification society, so impatient, so fast paced, that sometimes we lose sight of how meaningful the process of waiting can be. The build up – the projection of what you think you got – the excitement; I miss that. Ever since they were little, as soon as I take a picture, my kids will say ‘can I see it?’ The nostalgic part of me wants to say – ‘No! You have to wait until its on the computer,’ ….at least! Or better yet – until we print it! But then I remember that we are no longer in that space and they will never understand that. With the age of digital cameras on every smartphone, its such a foreign idea to have to wait to see images.
Don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled cameras are so accessible. I am so happy families are documenting memories – High schoolers are recording some of the best (and worst!) times of their lives — The first toothless smile is never missed — and even kids are taking pictures and maybe every once and a while, Mom or Dad might even get in it! The sad part to me is we have thousands of digital memories on our computers, but how many of them actually get printed? Here are three reasons why I believe its important to get them off your hard drive and into an album or even just single prints. Yes, even the goofy ones!
1. What happens when your computer crashes (because we know it will!) and in an instant, all those memories that you have collected are gone? What happens when 15 years from now all the online albums we have are no longer compatible with the software and we cannot access them anymore? What happens when the hard drives can no longer be plugged into your computer? If you have collected all these memories, don’t you think its worth actually having some of them? Print them – It’s cheap. Places like Mpix is a wonderful resource — Affordable and fast with great quality!
2. When your crazy little munchkins are all grown up and they are starting families of their own – will they have images to show their kids of them when they were little? Will they have the Halloween costumes – the Christmas card photo – the first day of kindergarten or the last day of high school? The big events… Will the be able to show them? Your future grandchildren deserve to know you! Keep your family ancestry alive and thriving. Documentation is key for that.
3. This is your life. These are memories you have collected over the years for one reason or another. You have documented these moments, these memories, these smiles, tears, outfits (good and bad!) friends, family, travel, vacations, and most of all love. You have decided it was important to keep these – so keep them! Print them – Make an album – Don’t worry about the perfection. Don’t worry about the composition, the editing, the color – Whatever you have is perfect. It’s your memory. It’s your moment. Save it. You took the photo for a reason – Don’t let it become lost in the shuffle of things on your computer. Remember whatever you do is important – you are exchanging a day in your life for it.
**So what’s the best way to print your memories? Start now and work backwards when you have time. Little by little, just a little here and there and before you know it, you will be on your way to the last 5 years.
A good way is to start is to keep a folder on your desktop of your computer that says “TO PRINT.” Anytime you import photos – add a few of your favorites to this folder (if you’re really adventurous you can add the whole album) Then, at the end of every month just send the photo to a lab to print! Mpix is a great place for that — Just upload them and order 4x6s of the folder. Easy peasy. When you have a few minutes you can even put them in an album by hand, yes they still make those.
If you’d rather just make a printed album there are a lot of online companies who offer this super easy option too. Take your ‘TO PRINT” folder right to their applications and some of them even have an ‘autofill’ option and it will place all the images in that folder in the album — customize any text you want (I suggest adding the year) and you’re good to go!
(*Suggestions break it into categories: Summer memories 2014; School year 2013-2014; Katie 2014: Ryan’s baseball season 2014. The possibilities are endless!)
Online Album Options:
However you print your memories – Just print them! After all, thats why you took them!