Photo albums

It may surprise you to read that I’m a keen photographer. I was taking loads of photos well before it became the norm. When my boys were 3 and 1, I took a photo of them sat in the trolley together at Tesco because they looked so cute. People were shocked.

‘You took a CAMERA to Tesco?!’

That’s how much things have moved on. No-one would bat an eyelid now. Everyone’s taking photos in Tesco. And everywhere else.

I only really take photos of one thing. Well, three things. My kids. We go on holiday. We see lovely views. I take a photo. I zoom in on my kids. And you can’t really see the view. I just can’t get enough photos of them.

I came pretty late to digital photography. I used films right until 2009 when I finally got a digital camera – a basic Canon SLR. This took my photography up to a whole new level. Now instead of one photo of my kids, with fingers crossed they’ve got their eyes open, I can take four of each pose. Just to be sure. If two kids are in the shot, I’ll take six. More margin for error. If all three of them are in, I’ll take 20. Just to get one really good pic.

Old habits die hard and after all those years of using films I just can’t, and won’t, stop printing my photos off. And sticking them in actual albums. I delete the not so good ones and print them off 200 a time and I get sticking.

Since I had my eldest, I’m on photo album number 80. It’s the 49th since my daughter was born. They’re the sort of albums which allegedly fit 200 photos – four to a page. But only if they’re all portrait. So realistically I’m probably fitting about 150 photos in an album, with each album lasting about two months.

I have two big shelves full of albums. I have a tall pile of around 15 albums next to the shelf and I have boxes under my bed whose sole purpose is to house my albums. As I write that down, I can see that it’s a waste of time and space. But it brings me pleasure. I like looking at my photos on the camera, on the computer screen and on Facebook, but it’s just not the same as seeing them in a big book.

I take time over the arrangement. I will try not to mix two ‘events’ on a page and I will also get them in the right order and optimise the number of photos on the page. To be honest, when faced with 200 photos at a time, it’s not such a pleasure as it was when I just had 36. Sometimes I slack off, then I have a really good go at getting on top of it.

Recently I’ve sped through the months September to January. Even though my kids are big, it’s still amazing looking back and seeing the changes in that short space of time.

In September and October the kids had a slight tan. If you’d asked me if my kids tanned, I would have categorically said ‘no’. They were wearing Tshirts. There were leaves on the trees. Then the leaves turn yellow. The kids start wearing coats. The light changes. There are more indoor photos.

There are so many photos in December. They are dark, but they are happy and full of hope. School performances, the Christmas tree, our Christmas flashmob. It’s remarkable how much we did in such a short time. You can almost see in the kids’ faces how much they were looking forward to Christmas with no inkling that it was all going to go wrong Then the photos of my pale, listless children, ill with the flu, forcing smiles on Christmas day. It was tempting not to stick them in the album. Those are not nice memories, but they were our Christmas.

And finally to January. And it’s still dark.

The photos I’m taking now are already brighter, the days are longer and it shows in the kids’ faces. With my camera and photo albums we are keeping our memories alive.

Does anyone else still use photo albums? Or does everyone think I’m mad?

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Such dedication. No, I don’t print photos but I do make up digital albums and use my photos for cards and other gifts for family.

    I’m sure that the photo albums will be treasured for years to come x.

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  2. I love taking photos! I can’t help but log onto snapfish and print them off. I also have a fair albums too but i’m in need of a shelf of some sort to house them all now!! x

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  3. I am appallingly disorganised with my photos, I intermittently get a couple of hundred printed off, and I buy photo albums, but I don’t get any further! We have packets and packets in a big box. I have now decided it will give me something to do in my retirement! I might actually just take to printing my blog out- photos and stories all together that way! 🙂

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  4. Thanks very much, ladies! Digital albums are lovely too, Lesley. The photo albums certainly will be treasured – I just hope we never have a fire, because I would never manage to rescue them all!
    Glad I’m not the only one who prints them off, Hannah.
    Lovely idea to print the blog, Sonya! All your memories in one place 🙂 It wouldn’t work for me, though – my photos on the blog are not my strong point!

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  5. Although Sarah, if I was you I would choose my fav family posts that coincide time wise with photo albums from now on, print them out , staple together and keep in back of album! Be nice to be able to read about days you may have forgotten about in twenty years time!

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  6. Wow that’s so many photos!! I am very trigger happy on holidays and then I met my husband who is about 20 times worse. We must have thousands of pics but we’re so disorganised we have nothing in albums!

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  7. I have been trying for 3 years to finish a digital photobook for my son but the upload speed is so slow I still haven’t finished it. I agree, there is nothing like looking through photos in an album. My Mum made a ‘best of the best’ album for me and my 2 brothers when we were in our twenties and gave it to us. I love looking through mine. Think Sonia’s suggestion about adding in relevant blog posts is a great one.

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  8. I have a ton of albums and boxes of photo’s 99% pre-digital and lots of missing heads and limbs. But I love looking through them. I have photo albums for all five of my babies first years which are precious. Then finally this year I managed to finish a photobook which is gorgeous. Now all I need to do is learn how to take good photos because I’ve always been a bit rubbish.

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  9. Thank you very much for your comments, ladies, I really appreciate them.
    Sonya – that is such a lovely idea! The words to go with all my endless photos of rugby matches 🙂
    It’s so hard to get organised with photo albums if you’ve never done it. My mum and dad never did – and of course this was in pre-digital days when there weren’t a fraction of the photos there are now. I stay on top of mine, so it’s not a hassle.
    Plum – that’s so funny you’ve been trying to do a digital photo book for three years! Very sweet of your mum to give you an album.
    It’s not hard to take photos, Anne, just stick at it! Photographer at Blogsummit the other day said everyone’s first 10,000 photos will be poor!

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  10. I have tons of photo albums when my boys were little but now I keep all mine on the computer and have them printed of just at holidays now 🙂 you made me laugh thinking of taking pictures in the supermarket years ago,I can just imagine peoples faces back then!! now as you say no one even loooks :)Thanks for linking up to welcome to the weekend hop …

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  11. Thanks very much for commenting, Claire Justine, always a pleasure to link up! It’s very sensible to not print them off, but I just can’t give up!

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