A photograph says a 1,000 words. So imagine the novel you could write with the 2,000 photographs you took on your last trip. (That’s 2 million words for those of you who aren’t good at math and can’t find a calculator. Technically, a novel is considered a novel if it has 40,000 words. So you just wrote two and a half novels with those photographs.) What do you do with all of those photographs? I know a lot of people who load them to their computer and that’s it. Maybe they print one off, maybe they upload a few to Facebook, but then what? Typically, they’re stored and forgotten. “Out of sight, out of mind. ” Well what was the point of taking all those photographs? I love taking photographs because I like to remember. I want to go back and remind myself of what I saw and how I felt when I was staring up at that volcano erupting. Photographs serve as memories, to me, and I don’t want to store them and forget. So I started a tradition of doing something immediately with my photographs upon arriving home, before it’s “out of sight and out of mind.”
After traveling, I like to make books with my favorite photographs from the trip. I keep them in my living room, stacked up, and I go through them from time to time when I want to make a trip down memory lane. It’s a simple way to keep memories of your travels alive, without having to spend too much time or money.
They also make a great way to show your travels to others. By keeping them in your living room or coffee table, people can peruse through them at their leisure, without you forcing them to sit through two hours of explanations about each place you were in. (Because, let’s face it, no one wants that.)
I used to create scrapbooks, and included things like tickets and brochures. Well, with working full time, grad school and all the other responsibilities in my life, I just don’t have that kind of time. I use Shutterfly, although I’m sure there are a lot of other online options, that may even have better quality. Shutterfly has been simple to use, and I’ve been using it for a few years now. (What do I do with all those things that I used to put in the scrapbooks then, you ask? Well, check out my article here where I talk about the keepsake boxes I make out of recycled Birchboxes. Which is also painless and simple and a great way to save small items like coins, tickets, brochures, shells and rocks!)
What’s really awesome about these books is that I simply upload my photographs into an album, choose a template, and the program arranges the photos into the book for me! Then I can move them around and add some text, and bam, it’s ready. It usually takes about 30 minutes to upload photographs (depending on how many I have) and 30 minutes to rearrange the photographs and add text. Shipping takes approximately two weeks, which isn’t too long for me.
You can see how simple it is to rearrange photographs, and view the different pages. Some photographs warrant one full page on their own, and some are little ones that you can make a collage with.
I don’t usually add a ton of text, but just a few things here and there that I want to remember, and especially want to include at least the location. (You know, like what city you were in.) People usually ask when going through, and believe it or not, sometimes I can’t remember! For example, that fruit stand wasn’t anywhere near where we were staying, it was just off the highway. I can imagine myself looking at that and thinking “where was that?” And never be able to figure it out. Saved myself the trouble!
You can include text on the top of the book and on the spine. Although I set mine on a table, if I were to put them on a bookshelf, all the spines would be blank if I didn’t include text. So that’s the nice part about the hardback books. (The softback books don’t let you include text on the spine, so they’re cheaper, but less options.)
So you could let your photographs just sit on the computer for years, or you could do something with them. I recommend doing something, and soon. The longer the time passes, the less you’ll care. If you want to keep those memories alive, make those books!