Put It On Paper – Behind My Eyes

I did something a few weeks ago that I don’t do enough of, but promise to do more of in the future. I printed a photo book. To be honest, the main goal here was a Mother’s Day gift for my mom, showing off some of the pics of my boy over the last year. You see, she lives 850 miles away from her grandson and only gets to see him a couple of times a year, and for a 5-6 year old, that’s a lot of growing up she’s missing out on. This kind of gives her a summary of his growth in pictures and allows her to be at least a small part of it.

Sure, she sees the millions of images I post of him on Facebook (it seems like millions anyway), but to be able to have that book sitting on her coffee table and to be able to enjoy at any time without having to search through my timeline, or hers, is just a really nice convenience and she has enjoyed it a great deal.

Posting and sharing our photos on Facebook and/or other social networking veins is a ton of fun and, in my opinion, very important. First, so your images can be seen and shared in order to get some decent exposure and hopefully learn to get better through the exchange. Secondly, so the many people, like mom, who would not get to see them otherwise can, like distant family and friends. And we in turn get to see their pictures as well. The internet has become a treasure of memories that otherwise would not be available to us and I will continue to give and get enjoyment from it!

There’s just something magical about a photo album, though. When we make trips south to see our family and friends a couple of times a year, one of my favorite things to do is look through the old photo albums that my mom and dad put together over time. Some of my siblings and me, some of my dad’s family and some of my mom’s. Neighborhood activities back in Michigan. Our trip to San Diego when I was 10 with pics from Sea World and Disneyland. My oldest brother in Navy. My middle brothers doing gymnastics. My sister being my wonderful sister. My twin brother and I doing everything! Old friends, and those no longer with us. It’s a trip back in time and a trigger to some really special times, those times that actually make life worth living and those that make us who we are.

And the pictures don’t have to be great, they just have to remind of us those times. The power of the snapshot really is amazing. Even a picture with a thumb over the lens can find its way to a memory stored somewhere deep in the brain archives and can transport us to that time and place. Some are so real, we can smell the smells and feel the breeze. They truly are magical little time pieces that should be treasured, and the best way to do that is in an album.

So many of us store hundreds, sometimes thousands, of images on our hard drives, never to be seen other than when you think of one image and have to scroll through the entire library to find it. Get them off that drive and into a book!

The options for book printing are virtually endless, too. Wal Mart, Walgreens, Target – they all have some sort of way of printing them. Many photographic software programs have them native now, like iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom. Shutterfly, Blurb and Picaboo are online avenues as well as all of the print labs like Bay Photo, MPix and White House Custom Colour. There’s no good excuse!

Next trip to mom and dad’s house, or grandma and grandpa’s, grab the photo albums and be transported back in time. Try to wipe the smile off of your face, or the tears out of your eyes. Then think about your kids, and their kids and how much they would enjoy the same experience when they come to your house. Put them on paper. You won’t regret it.

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