December 7, 2022

Family traditions…and photographs

This season has me thinking about how the next generation is going to remember our moments, our traditions.  As I sat at the thanksgiving table with my husband’s family I thought to myself how incredible it was to create this table where 4 generations sit, a table that over the last 10 years has housed not only the original crew, but extensions of that through marriages, children (and oh there are lots of children now!!).  My husband has sat at this thanksgiving table for the last 30+ years of his life.  I found myself drawn to take a photo on my phone and instead took out my big camera, because I knew that the one on my camera was the one i was going to print and that made me think… how many people are photographing their thanksgiving tables on their phones for them to never be seen again?  How often are we documenting these moments – for them to sit on our phones and computers.  Now don’t get me wrong, the ease of pulling out an iPhone to be able to capture a moment and freeze it in time is incredible, but it just can’t stop there.   We can’t let it stop there.  We owe it to the next generations – our children, our children’s children – we owe this story to them and that story HAS to exist in print and not an iPhone that will very possibly not even work in the next 5 years.

Print matters, its literally the only thing that will last – the cloud, our iPhones, hard drives… they aren’t guaranteed.  When i look at the piles of photo albums that my parents have – the opportunities we have to look back at family memories in photo albums,  to tell those stories and have our kids’ grandparents tell stories – that is priceless and will only continue to happen if we are taking the time to print our memories.

I know that everyone’s lives are going a million directions,  I recognize that the pull it to share our stories to social media – and hey I’m not denying that I’m one to do it too… but we HAVE to remember that this is not what lasts.  That the reasons we have these family traditions – these beautiful tablescapes at the holidays, the stuffed animals that come out at Christmas (we have this stuffed reindeer we called Vlud-y, because he wasn’t really Rudolph because he was at the north pole of course!), the cookie decorating – all of these things are for the feelings they evoke.  When we document them in photos – they need to be translated into something that will last lifetimes.

So this season i encourage you to go one step beyond the social media or text message share, be beyond the folder on your desktop that houses all your family photos, or worst yet.. the photos folder on your phone that is full of too many images to even back up to the cloud (yes i am guilty of this too!)!  I challenge you to create something that reminds you of these traditions, take photos while you live through them and create something beautiful – either some prints into an album, or create your own album… but just print them, make the live on for generations.  Tell your family story in a way that matters so much more than swiping through a digital photo album on a phone.

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