| Written by Ronnie |
In my last post, I talked about what life albums are and why they feature in my memory keeping. I also briefly discussed my personal approach to life albums: namely, using InDesign templates to combine words and images in a way that allows the photos to shine. This week, I want to write more about why life albums are the basic building blocks of my memory keeping. I also want to share with you a big picture perspective of how our different life albums fit together. I think that having this sort of perspective is important because when you know what you want the big outcome to be, it becomes a lot easier to focus on the smaller details and to stay on track.
First of all, our family’s life albums give me an easy structure for documenting our family life on a regular basis. Every week, for our family’s life album, I write a short summary of what happened. I pick my favourite photos in Aperture. Using the InDesign templates I’ve set up, I add extra text or journaling when I feel it’s appropriate or necessary. I add the day and dates of the photos. I print the photos out on my Pixma. I slip them into the pockets. And presto! One week of our family life is documented, and the whole process takes me about 2 hours at most (if I’m not distracted by Facebook). I do this every week of the year, and at the end of the year, I have a complete life album filled with memories of our family life: precious every day moments that would otherwise go undocumented. And because I’ve been systematically working on it all year, there is no catch-up at the end of the year. No huge, empty scrapbook for me to fill. I will discuss my weekly workflow in greater length in the next part of the lesson.
Secondly, our family’s life album allows me to document our family and family life from every angle. In ten years’ time, I don’t want to only have a record of events like birthdays or holidays, I want to also have a record of all those little moments and what our day-to-day life actually looked like. Our family life albums cover every single aspect of our family: important milestones, big events (e.g. birthdays, holidays), candid portraits, little moments, corners of our house, etc. In other words, our family life albums are the reference point for everything – this is why I see them as the building blocks for my memory-keeping. For sure, I also like creating photo books, story books, journals, and scrapbooks: these are projects that allow me to ‘zoom in’ and focus on a particular story or a particular period in time. However, at the end of the day, it’s our family’s life albums that tie everything together.
In addition to our family’s life albums, I also have a life album for each of the four boys. This is where I store my favourite photos of them, record the funny things that they say and document important milestones in their life such as their birthdays and their first day(s) at preschool and ‘big school.’ Our family’s life album is about our journey and our life as a family, as told through my eyes. The boys’ life albums are about them specifically – something which they can take away with them when they move out (if they wish). The boys all know they have these albums. It is my hope that over the years, I will take the time with each boy to look through ‘his book’ (or volumes of books, to be more exact) and to reminisce, laugh and remember together. The wonderful thing about working on something like this is that it helps me to reflect and remember how blessed we are, and how precious each of our boys are, which in turn helps me to get through the endlessly busy and exhausting days.
On Wednesday night, I sat down and completed my first weekly spread in less than an hour, and I have to say, it was totally satisfying. One down. Fifty-one to go.
Who's started on their life albums for 2015 already?
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