When I was growing up, we had cameras. Film, cameras, and processing photos were all expensive things. I have very few pictures from my childhood, one of me and mum, one of me and dad. Playing a piano at aged three in Nanna Marjorie’s front yard! Very brief snatches of memories of living in the 1970s in a country town.
I had a camera when my first child was born. I took photos of every smile, event and milestone. I printed all of the photos and filled a 300 page album. I did that the next year when my son was born. Now I use my phone for everything. It is easy to capture every moment on my phone. But do I print a photo of these memories? No. The albums stopped when my third son was born. My photos are on Facebook, and Instagram, they were on a couple of phones that have since stopped working. But there are no hard copy photos anymore.
We live in a digital age. The world we live in is constantly changing, as is the technology that we use. I am a teacher librarian so my career is based around helping people work with information and the tools we use to access information. Since the era of the ipad and kindle, some said that physical books would no longer exist. But they do. People love to see, feel and read the physical copy of a book. I feel the same way about photos. I know that a hard copy of a photograph, kept well, will outlast all of the technology we will see in our lifetimes. And so I began our family yearbook tradition.
A year after my daughter was born, a friend introduced me to the idea of creating a family year book. I felt compelled to give the family year book a go and I became committed to the tradition.
In December each year, just after Christmas, I devote time to looking at the photos I have taken during the year. I use Snapfish but there are a range of programs and companies out there to explore. I can download my Facebook and Instagram images and my photos from my camera and my phone. Sounds too hard? It feels overwhelming for five minutes and then I become engrossed in the memories and I don’t mind the time it takes. Once all of the images I like are saved in the program, I construct my book.
There are so many ways to make a year book. You can work in chronological order if you like from January to December. I have three children and they particularly like a page each for their birthdays. You could also use these themes:
- Sporting achievements
- Weddings or other celebrations
- Friends and family
- Funny photos
- School photos
There are so many ways you can approach it. After doing this for nine years, here are some tips
- Don’t overthink it. Each year will get better, and your children will love it regardless.
- Take lots of photos or selfies of your whole family doing things together.
- Your photos shouldn’t be perfect. Make it natural.
- Include brief text, just so you remember where you were and what you did. You might forget later!
- If you are the photographer, make sure you are in there. Everyone should be there!
Each year I print four copies of our year book. There is one copy for each child. And there is one copy for me.
In the future, I will buy a very special small box for each child, and a copy of each year book will go inside. On my children’s 18th birthdays, they will receive their box of yearbooks. What they do with them is up to them. I hope they will treasure them. Just as I will treasure my copies.
We live in a digital age. But we should still find a way to record our family memories.
How will you record yours?
Feel free to ask any questions or contribute any ideas. I would love to hear your views.
|Contributed by PJ of Marjorie Handmade.
Every fabric has a story with Marjorie Handmade. Quirky and thoughtful gifts created by a sewing librarian with a story focus. Marjorie proudly supports the promotion of reading to babies from birth with storybibs and exclusively designed readtome bibs. Marjorie gives back to the community and part proceeds of products sold are donated to Australian reading charities.