The thing you have to do this year
How often do you look at old family photo albums or old photos around the home? I have photos of my Grandparents as babies and their wedding photo in prominent spots in my home. I also look at the album my grandma made for me often. The hubs and I, we looked at the CD (time warp) from our wedding once, right before our ten year anniversary. Once. You cannot walk by digital storage and see the people who you love. Albums and framed photos are the only way to keep those memories preserved. My Grandma is now 95, she passes time in her room often looking at her old photos. About 5 years ago, she gave me some old albums and said, ‘do what you want, throw ‘em away’. I know she didn’t mean it (or maybe I just didn’t want to do it) so I kept them. I was able to bring the album to Pennsylvania this week. She has been spending time looking through them. I decided to take my day, as beautiful snow falls outside, photographing these amazing albums so I can preserve them in my way, and share with you.
These two books are both well over 70 years old. One contains photos, the other is a lovingly made scrapbook with report cards, prom dance cards and quirky trinkets. I love looking at them, seeing my Grandmother as a young woman just out of high school, moving on to meet my Grandpa. The things she saved make me smile, like the ribbons from her corsage.
In the photo album there are couples, families and babies (and a baby butt shot, see, people always take them). There are pictures of my grandfather preparing to go to WWII and even some newspapers she saved. The idea that this would have all been lost scares me. The concept that you cannot enjoy these things as much on your timeline, grid, or on a USB is ultimately true. I even love her scrapbooking, because it lets you touch pieces of history, kept separate from the photos. Together it makes an complete experience. I also loved that on the loose photos, my Grandma lovingly took the time to write the place, time and everyone who was there. This can be seen on every photo her hands have touched, all the way up to mine.
Ugh, my photos. Those awkward photos you wish would be victim to spontaneous combustion. Whether it is images from high school time in this home, in Emmaus, or photos from living in Colorado; I really used to not like them at all. But, surprisingly when I stumbled across them in with her old photos I was pumped. I wanted to show my kids who I was. I loved my awkward 9 year old photo where I crimped my hair. I used to think I needed to be different, lose weight, not have red hair. I now cannot believe I was worried about any of that crap. I mean, how awesome are those baby blue wire frame glasses? Just take in that selective color photo I edited MYSELF when my hubs and I were dating in high school. Yeah.
This is the thing you have to do this year. You have to print your photos. You should print the good ones, and the okay ones, hell even print some bad ones. I have albums of perfectly imperfect photos, ones that came from film and had zero editing. Embrace it all. Make albums, keep a memento box or scrapbook, hang images of the ones you love the most.
So here is the part where I want to say HIRE ME to preserve your memories and make awesome fantabulous printed artwork. Yes, please consider hiring me to document your family because I am SO passionate about it. Or don’t, because that is ok. But, listen, whether you go to a professional or use your phone, make memories touchable with turnable pages. Make your photos tangible, it is making them real. Don’t pass by your computer or see an old disc or USB this year. The thing you have to do this year is print what you want to preserve.
If you are in the Lehigh Valley and looking for a family and documentary photographer consider me, Monique, here at the Rosy Roost.