Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Life of a Photo

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!


  1. How have I lived this long and not known about those amazing books from Shutterfly! I must make one this very minute!

    I love your routine for getting it done. I think that's probably the most inspiring part to me, because I have a million photos just sitting in iphoto waiting around when they could be sitting in a pretty new book instead. And I know that would make my son so happy.

    Can't wait to hear about the kid's journals!!

    P.S. Thanks for mentioning me in your post. Your sweet!

  2. Ok.. can you channel some of that my way? I am horrible with the pictures. HORRIBLE. I take 'em but then they sit on my computer and there they are. I might get a wild hair and put some on Shutterfly but do I print them,No? That is one of the things I will get to. After the Kid's party.... :) Very admirable. Love the book from Shutterfly...

  3. Once you girls see how easy it is, you'll be hooked on making an album too!

  4. Thanks for this post Summer, Magda spends a lot of her time scrap booking, I bet she'll love the idea of that shutterfly site :)
    You guys are both crazy.

    j/k I love photos and Magda's scrap books, so cute :)

  5. By the way, I love the way you've been inserting pics into your blog and the way that you've been highlighting certain phrases with font sizes and colors and stuff..... Very cool. It makes your posts a ton of fun to read.