I am obsessed with photos. I don't know why I hold them so dearly, but I do. Second only to my loved ones, I think about them all the time.
Like many people, my photography has evolved from poloroids to digital cameras.
Now I have my digital SLR. The mack-daddy within my price range. I love it. I take photos all the time. Look honey, the kids are dancing - grab the camera. Cuts, chocolate faces, birthday cakes, melt downs. I'm not very particular. If it's happening, I'm taking a photo. I'm not a professional. Heck, I'm not very good at it period. But I like it. A lot.
Here's what I've realized about taking pictures. The act of taking pictures keeps me present in my life. Weird, huh? Looking through that lens forces me to FOCUS on what I intend to SEE at that moment. Does that make sense? Oh well, it does to me.
Since I take about 2000 photos a year, I decided to dedicate a post to how I deal with my photos after I take them. I got the idea after reading my blog friend Heather's blog (all a flutter) today, where she talked about making a photo journal (this isn't a photo journal i'm writing about... it just inspired me)... http://allaflutterdesigns.blogspot.com/2010/01/im-determined.html_ .
Here's my photo routine:
#1: SHOOT - I take my photos (100-500/month)#2:UPLOAD - Usually the same day, I upload photos to my computer
#3: SHUTTERFLY - I immediately upload all of my photos to shutterfly.com
#4: SHARE - If it's a noteworthy event, I share the shutterfly album with family, typically my mom in Oregon who doesn't get to see the kids much.
#5: ALBUM - When I get a chance (a couple times a month), I update my shutterfly photo book. I can do an entire post on this, and might later. Basically, I maintain an annual photo book (with only my favorites from each shoot) on Shutterfly and have it printed in January (I'm just finishing up mine for 2009).
I used to be a scrapbooker, with all the fun tools and paper. I really loved scrapbooking and will probably do it again someday when I have time. But the day I realized it had become more of a chore than a hobby was the day I figured out an alternative. I use shutterfly but there are many other similar websites. Shutterfly albums aren't the fanciest out there and they don't have a lot of bells and whistles. You choose a background & choose your layout, then just drag and drop photos. The important thing for me is to document the event.
Our family album also holds some of the kids artwork, which I scan and upload.
#6: KIDS ALBUMS - But I don't stop at that book. I also have a basic slip album for each of my kids. Here I put a copy of my favorites (about 10 photos/yr). I write a little blurb on the side, jot the date and that's it. This is for them to take with them when they are all grown. I also write them each a journal but that's a whole other post too.
#7: BOX - Any extra photos get put into my photo box, which we use for projects, crafts, fun, whatever.
#8 PRINT - Some photos get printed for our photo wall or frames around the house, but not many.
Looking at this wall makes me happy!#9 - BACKUP - Occassionally I back up photos to CD. I used to back up religiously, once a month and at that time (for 4 yrs) I would make a backup of my backup. Crazy. I now rely on Shutterfly as my main backup and only put them on CD when I feel like it.
So there it is. My photo obsession revealed. Phew! That was tiring!