As a photographer, I always have a camera on me at all times (most times I have more than one). You never know when the perfect moment will arise. That doesn't mean every photo needs to be a masterpiece, though. I like to document my life through photos because I don't have the greatest memory. Sometimes I'll look back at a moment from a vacation or a concert and I'll think "Oh my God, I totally forgot about this"! That experience could have been completely lost to me if I hadn't photographed it.
I know all too well how important our memories are, because both of my grandmothers developed dementia. I noticed that with my Mema (my mom's mother), photographs used to help her remember more from her past, and it always led to great stories. Every year, I make a photo book of my personal photos from the year before. For the most part, my professional art work gets made into a canvas and goes on my wall. But the snap shots I take every day, the little moments that make up the story of my life, they go into my photo year book, and I love to look at them. Showing them to my family and friends brings me a lot of joy. Almost all of them are photographs taken with a small compact camera or just my iPhone.
See, you don't have to be a photographer to carry a camera with you at all times. How many people do you know that don't have a cell phone? A phone camera doesn't have to be fancy to document your life. To be honest, a lot of phone cameras these days can lead to stunning photographs if the light is good.
This is what a typical page of my photo year book looks like.
Maybe these aren't beautiful professional photos that I would make a canvas out of, but they represent some awesome moments I had that year, and each memory is special to me.
A lot of people put off doing anything with their photos, because it seems like a huge undertaking to put something together. It doesn't have to be, though. A simple layout with a few photos from each month of the year can be a beautiful way to tell the story of your family. Go with a site like Mixbook if you want to customize your photo book and get fancy with layouts, covers and graphics. Or you can just keep it simple and use a company like Shutterfly that can auto-design your photo book and take the work out of your hands.
Now that you've got your family's snapshots in order, you can always come to me when you want that beautiful canvas portrait to hang on your wall. I'll take care of that kind of stuff for you :)
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