The Point of a Picture

I absolutely love pictures for the same reason I love writing about life – because I know I am forgetful. I’ve spent many hours in the last couple days sorting through and organizing thousands of pictures, and it’s not the first time I’ve had to do this.

When we were first married, we each had boxes of pictures from our lives before each other…well, I had boxes. My husband just had hundreds of pictures in random places, and they weren’t in any kind of order. I am all about organization, so, although my execution isn’t exactly perfect yet, I decided to go through all of those pictures. And I learned something…

Kids take pictures of stupid things!

I am so thankful that disposable cameras are a thing of the past. I do not want our future children to waste the hours I did throwing away pictures from 6th grade summer camp because they brought 6 disposable cameras and developed all the film in duplicates. In total I probably threw away 500 pictures. It took weeks, but we are now down to one single box of actual photographs, and it is amazing. There is still work to be done with those pictures, like deciding whether or not they will just remain, untouched, in that box for the rest of our lives, but I am pleased with the progress.

A few months ago, though, I discovered a whole new monster. Digital photographs. You see, unlike physical photographs, these jerks don’t take up any visible space, so there isn’t a constant and lingering reminder of how out of control things have gotten. And though the task was daunting, I decided to face it head on. I started sifting through more than 10,000 pictures. Yes, you read that correctly…ten thousand. That number is really quite astounding, considering that’s how many pictures we’ve amassed in just about 5 years. I don’t even know what happened.

What I do know is that going through those pictures sucked. The trip down memory lane was lovely, but a third of those pictures weren’t even good. And you can only know that if you go through every. single. one. Skimming through the thumbnails isn’t good enough, either – you could miss a real gem and eliminate it for all eternity by mistake.

I never did finish organizing those pictures, so, this past weekend, I decided to have another go at it.

There are probably millions of people in the world that would be perfectly happy letting their iPhoto library fill to no end, but I am just not that person.

I don’t love pictures simply because they exist; I love pictures because I can look at them and go back in time…be reminded of things that may have started to become fuzzy. I am reminded of the life I’ve lived, and it blesses me. It’s just really difficult to look at pictures when they are thrown in a box or lost in a library with 10,000 others, so that’s why I spend the time. I want to use pictures for their intended purpose – to be displayed and readily available for viewing.

Some will be hung on our walls, but the rest will go in photo books. I don’t like traditional photo albums because they take up more space than most humans and you have to slip every picture into a flimsy sleeve. Photo books, on the other hand, are awesome.

They are thin, can hold 1,000 pictures, and are relatively easy to put together. So, that’s what I’ve been working on. My goal is to make one book for every year and big occasion. I know it will be a lot of books once I’m 90, but they will be my prized possessions – the chronicles of our lives. Today I finished sorting every picture we had on the computer into separate albums on Shutterfly. Each album will be made into a book. It was tedious, but I’m happy to say the hardest part is done!

Now I just need to put the books together and save up about $500 to buy them all at once!




 Some gems I found 🙂



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