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Leaf through pages or scroll through a screen?

“Sometimes You Will Never Know The Value Of A Moment Until It Becomes Memory.”

– Dr. Seuss.

I've recently been asked about tips for vacation photos. It's a really good question. We all have camera phones and many of us take a LOT of pictures. But are we really capturing the essence of our travels? Are we preserving the memories? Or are we just cluttering up our phones with images we'll rarely look at and just scroll through?

Toasting pic
Yes - kinda a food pic. But we took a pic of every toast we made to family. There's a story here.

My personal vacation photo motto should be "Less food, more love". I like to think less about my Instagram feed (of the moment) and more about a photo album (timeless). Now, if you're specifically on a foodie trip, this is a bit different. But still, not every photo should be of food! That just becomes a lot of images you probably won't look at again.

My reference to photo albums is deliberate. For those of us of a certain age, do you remember putting your pictures in an album? Those of us who were really good at it even journaled on the back of the image or next to it. (I'm looking at the rest of you, not me!) What images did we capture and what did we save?

  • Family pics - candids and posed

  • Friends - old and new

  • Scenery - when it awed us

  • Not food, not all selfies (they weren't even a thing!)

The image on the left is pretty, but the image on the right is unique to us. Get both kinds.

Use a camera or your phone, whichever is most comfortable and convenient for you. Take a lot of pics of family, friends and activities. Hand your phone to trustworthy looking strangers and ask them to take a photo that includes you. A friend gave me a tip for this - ask someone with an expensive looking camera to take the pics. First, they probably can take a good shot. Second, they're highly unlikely to steal your gear! Take a few of scenery (how many pics of the same mountain do you really need.) Delete the truly terrible shots as you go, but if it was a special event and it's the only pic you have - save it!

Now for the fun part - preserving the images. Back to those photo albums... didn't it feel good to sit down and go through them? Flipping the pages was so satisfying. We viewed them alone when we needed to experience those lovely memories. We sat with family members when we wanted to pass on the stories of those trips. I have memories of sitting with my grandparents hearing stories about their vacation albums. And I have sat with my own daughter, leafing through our own albums and reminiscing about the vacation.

Scrolling through images on a phone, tablet or computer just isn't the same experience. A screen isn't the same sensory experience as paper. Remember slides shows??? (Zzzzzzzzzz). And paper doesn't go obsolete (I'm talking about you picture CD!) . So, you ARE going to print your favorite images. We'll get to that process, but first decide how you're going to preserve them in paper. There are a few options.

  • Traditional photo album - I like those with space to write. I used to always use those with the sticky pages, but it does make it difficult to write info about the picture. I like an album like this or this

  • Scrapbook - paper or digital scrapbooking works. But if you scrapbook digitally, plan on printing your pages.

  • A photo book - PROCAM is a local company to our area that prints them, but you can also choose Costco, Shutterfly, or other options.

Once you've decided on your best option, start going through your pictures. Depending on how many you took and how many you want to save, this could take a while. Block out time to do it.

  • Mark your favorites. Once you're finished with the entire project, I would delete the extras and save your favs.

  • Edit and crop those favs if you want to do so. Check out this blog entry for some tips on that. If you're creating a scrapbook or photo book, you have some flexibility on cropping sizes, but it is probably easier just to stay at 4x6 or 5x7 - standard sizes. If you'll be using a traditional album, definitely stick with the standard sizes.

  • Upload the final pictures to be printed. If you're using a traditional album or scrapbooking - you have a wide variety of sites to use... PROCAM, Costco, Walgreens, etc. And you can even take your phone or memory card in and use their kiosks to do the upload. Do this and then put them in your album ASAP! However, if you'll be creating a photo book - you'll need to upload your photos and then design the book itself. I highly recommend journaling a little about each photo. A book of pics with no explanation won't do any good in a few years.

I can guarantee that you will have a lot more fun going through your vacation albums full of prints than you will scrolling through your phone. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE print them!

Thanks for reading. And be sure to let me know if you have any issues you'd like me to address in this blog.


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