Have you ever started out to do one thing and end up to your armpits in alligators? That’s what happened to me last weekend. I ran across a piece of memorabilia to place in one of my scrapbooks and realized that in looking for the layout to place that prized piece of memorabilia, it wasn’t there.
I know I did it, where is it? I looked high and low with no such luck. So I kept digging. I started to empty out some baskets in my scrapbook room when the little angel on my shoulder said,
“Uh oh. I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
What have I been doing all these years?
In finding that prized coloring attempt, I knew that there should be a photo of him coloring that piece of paper if only I could put my hands on it.
Should be here in this, uh, no? Not there? How about here? No? Ok, well it must be in….no.
I not only had photo albums and baby albums and scrapbook albums, but I had photo boxes and a filing cabinet filled with photographs to dig through. Oh, and did I tell you that I inherited my parents heritage photos as well?
“This is why my kid’s scrapbooks all start when they were in high school.” I told myself.
My mom is laughing her butt off in heaven right now because I was such a nag to her to put the date on her photos and the names of the people and the locations! I even made her sit with me a few times and put photos in front of her to write on. What an awful nag I was but here I am, GUILTY. GUILTY AS CHARGED. I am my mother. I can’t even tell you how many undated, un-named photos I have to deal with now.
I decided last week to finally clean up this rat’s nest I’ve been ignoring for a few…oh, DECADES and put things in order. I also decided that there was no God-forsaken need to keep bad photos. Photos so badly taken, you can’t make out who the people are in them. And why, pray tell, did I feel it necessary to have duplicates made and then kept, doubling up my headache? Mr. Fae was horrified when he looked at the wastebasket with dozens of photos thrown into it.
I was texting family and friends asking them when so-and-so got married and what year did you graduate from law school? Is Jordyn two years old in the picture or three?
And here’s one of the most bizarre things I ran across. Most of you know that if I have a camera in hand, one photo will not be enough. I will take many. Lots. Bunches. Mucho. So when I decided to (in my part of organizing) take care of and make many of the older events’ layouts, I found that I only had 74 photos of our annual vacation. 74. This past year, I had over 1,000 photos of the same vacation. Yes, it is daunting to realize that scrapping that many photos would stagger most novices. But you don’t use every single one. Some are blurry, some are duplicates because we all share our photos, so that 1,000 really gets cut down to about 8-10 pages of a two week family vacation. Not bad at all.
And I did that…why?
It became abundantly apparent what year I went to digital photography. 2005 was the year and I thank God for whoever invented that. New parents have no idea how convenient digital photos are compared to having the prints and the negatives to deal with.
When our son was a baby, we thought, as the only highly intelligent individuals we were, to purchase and use a Polaroid camera.
Mr. Inventor of Polaroid Cameras? There is a place in hell for you.
Yes, I have so many Polaroid shots to deal with now, it puts a definite kybosh on my creativity efforts. Having a scanner and the slight knowledge of Photoshop helps with keeping the picture but not keeping the polaroid itself.
You know, because Polaroids are known for those beautiful and crisp portraits.
The biggest hurdle of this endeavor is over by just getting the loose photos in chronological order. I only have to combine the albums with the 9 shoe-box size photo boxes. Then the scrapping of it all can begin.
I have been on a ‘get er done’ mantra with my scrapping; taking no prisoners and getting this close to actually having the more recent years in our family’s lives done and in their respective albums. I do admit to taking a few years off after my parents died; creativity died as well. But now my books are filling up and I’m looking forward to filling my grandkid’s albums and my own children’s younger years as well.
The moral of the story is this. DATE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS. And your children will love you even more if you put them in order.