I have always been a shutter bug. I started scrapbooking when I was 11, I taught classes for a local store when I was 17 and went on to teach at national conventions when I was 20. I have a passion for documenting my life with photos and the stories that accompany them. What I didn’t anticipate was how that passion would change when I had my own kids. When they placed that sweet, screaming little man in my arms for the first time, everything flew into perspective. My family, the 3 of us, then the four of us, and soon to be 5 of us, are the most important thing in my life.
How did that change my passion for documenting my life you ask? Let me tell you. My kids gave me a new purpose in life. I had a new role as a mother. A mother of innocent kids growing up in a not so innocent world. It is my job to make sure that they know who they are. They need to know that they are wanted. They need to know that they are important and that they have a team of people who love them and care about them and the choices that they decide to make. Taking pictures may seem like a silly way to make that happen, but there are a few things that happen when you take a picture.
- Pictures connect us to those who came before. By letting your kids see your photos from the past and the one you take today, they become connected to their own story. They know the family members and ancestors who came before them and helped shape the world and person they see today. Self identity is a huge player in self confidence.
- Memories are powerful. Memories tie us to people, places, and emotions. Preserving these memories for the days when we may not remember, can’t remember, or might just need reminded of can be a beacon of hope for the future.
- To find sweetness in the trials. Life is not without hard times, but I know that looking at pictures always helps me remember that there is goodness, even in the mundane tasks of everyday life. I want my kids to see that too.
- Pictures can manifest emotions that words cannot. My kids were there on the day they were born, but they won’t remember those first sweet moments. I want them to see how loved they are. From the moment I knew they were coming my life changed and I want them to know that. That I celebrated and loved each and every step along the way with them. From their first steps to the 500th spilled glass of milk. We are in this together.
Photographs can do all of these things. They can express what I might not be able to and can build a sort of defense for my child’s individuality. But that defense can not be built by photos hiding away on your computer! You have to get them into your kids hands! Let them look and talk to them about them! There are so many ways you can do this. Some of the ways I make this happen are framed photos, scrapbooks, and photo books.
I recently began using Collage.com to print my photo books and I love them! Life can get crazy but Collage.com takes all the stress and time out of creating keepsake books for your family. I made two books in less than an hour and they were on my doorstep less than a week and a half later! Collage.com makes it super easy for you by allowing you to gather pictures directly from your Facebook Profile, Instagram, or Flickr account. I personally printed one from Facebook, a book highlight a trip me and my husband just took, and one from Instagram. I use my Instagram to document the everyday details of our lives, this book is a hit with my kids. I throw it in the bag whenever we are headed to church or anywhere we might have a wait, it keeps them busy forever! The quality is great and I know these books will be treasured for a really long time.
It has never been easier to get those photos off your computer and into the hands of those that you love! These books or any of the items on Collage.com would make a great and affordable gift for the holidays as well! Visit them on Facebook here for more ideas!
Why are photos important to you?