A multitude of photos and videos of our children is one of the blessings of this new digital era. It also poses great organizational hurdles. I’m sure I’m not alone in my desire to actually do something with my photos/videos, rather have them languishing forever on my iPhone. What do I actually do with them though?
A few months ago I stumbled on a podcast where they discussed this very issue (Coffee and Crumbs Podcast, episode 40). It was so much fun to listen to multiple women talk about what they do (and what they don’t do) with all the media files of their children. Some of them were really insistent about baby books and photo books. Others seemed a lot more laid back. It was inspiring to hear of new and different ideas, and at the same time freeing to realize everyone does this a little differently!
When I was in high school, I was into scrapbooking. I frequented the scrapbooking stores (now probably obsolete) and bought stickers, special paper, special scissors, and even fancy brads and beads and other silly decorations. Mostly, I was creating special gifts for my high school boyfriend (lol), but it was still fun to create. Now that I’m a mom and my time is more limited, I feel like scrapbooking is a hobby for some— but definitely not for me.
However, there is one book I’ve enjoyed using that bridges that gap a bit. It’s like a scrapbook in that you print out pictures and write notes, but the pages already come with spaces to put the photos in. You can purchase adorable cards with prompts to make the writing easier. This book is called Project Life, and I’ve been using it for several years to make family photo albums. I love handwriting the notes, but I’ve contemplated switching to a more digital format too. (Friends I know round up a year’s worth of photos and plop them online into something like Shutterfly or Snapfish).
After listening to the podcast above, I also wanted to start making a few things more specific for each of my kids. I purchased a “memory box” for each of them where I can throw in special “things” that I don’t really want out, but might be nice in the future. Think: hospital bracelets/blankets, ultrasound pictures, special knick-knacks that have significance… now I have space to actually dedicate to these things that (gasp) I mostly threw away before. I hate clutter (!!) so having a space for “special clutter” feels precious. The best part is that it takes almost no work at all!
I also took their advice on a birthday book— a very small photo book with photos of your child over the past year. (For example, for their third birthday, you make a book with photos of them from ages 2-3). It only takes me about 1 hour to create. (I don’t put any words on this one). It’s so fun to see the way they change over a year!
Finally, I’m taking a leap at organizing photos on my computer and getting the videos off of it. I opened up iMovie and am taking a stab at putting together all the videos from a year; think the modern version of home videos. This way, all my 20-30 second clips have a space to live. I think I’ll store the “movies” on my computer, but also might burn them to a DVD for grandparent gifts. This project has been a bit more extensive than I was hoping, but I’m looking forward to the end result.
It’s been so fun to look back at photos and videos. I actually started using them, instead of having them just take up space on my computer. What about you? Do you do anything with your photos and videos? Baby books? Family photo albums? Nothing at all? I’d love to hear!