No philosophy or cultural critique today, just cold, hard practicalities. What on earth am I going to do with our thousands of photos of SBJ?
Taking and working with photos of our baby is basically my favourite hobby these days We have a standard digital camera and I don’t do anything fancy with it, just take a hundred photos at a time and assume that one or two will be awesome through the power of maths.
That is the marvel of digital photography. Each photo isn’t going to cost a dollar to print out and find out if it’s any good, so you can just click, click, click on the off chance.
And, of course, the flipside of that is that you risk never getting around to printing any photos out. Many of us have hard drives (that may or may not be backed up regularly) full of gorgeous photos, but few in hard copy.
I do a lot with my photos. With friends and family all over the world, I enjoy putting them on facebook (I figure if people are sick of seeing my cute boy, they don’t need to look!), and regularly send a few to people by email.
I’ve also used sites like Kroma and Diamond (who seem to just be portals for exactly the same – dreadful – online printing software) to make calendars and large prints for the whanau. Picasa makes collages easy (well, again it’s fairly unintuitive software, but once you get the hang of it it’s ok), which is helpful because uploading collage jpgs rather than single photos is the best way I’ve found so far to get multiple photos on pages with the cumbersome online calendar systems. I’ve used both Kroma and Diamond because they both regularly have huge discounts on daily deal sites like GrabOne, so I never pay full price.
But, oh, I love my childhood photo albums, with real photos stuck onto real pages! Are they a thing of the past?
As far as I can tell, there’s a spectrum of documenting life with albums that most of us are on. At one end are the crafty, creative scrapbookers, who create astonishing works of art. (I’m not going to link to any – I’m too jealous!) It’s highly time-intensive, so only suits people who actually love the process and find it enriching in itself. Definitely something I admire but won’t make time for myself. At the other end of the spectrum are people who never print anything (though they’d probably like to).
Most of us are in the middle, probably, with a few things printed and framed but masses on the computer, hopefully backed up to the cloud. We look wistfully at other people’s albums and wish we had the time or could make a decision about what on earth to do, since none of us are doing conventional photo albums anymore.
So this is a chance to swap some ideas and get some motivation, ok? What are you doing and how?
I’m thinking of using the Picasa-collage-plus-online-photobook option to make one album for SBJ and see what I think of it. Our wedding album was a digital photobook, and surprisingly good, but I still find them far less satisfying than my childhood ones. I may just have to get over this.
I have a talented photographer friend who has started printing out dozens of miniature photos of her kids and pinning them to a long piece of mounted wood on the wall. It looks amazing and is great for making use of all those shots that otherwise wouldn’t make it to view. She has a digital printer at home that is good enough for photos and I wonder if this is the way of the future.
So. Tell us what you do, please! In detail!
Where are you on the spectrum of photo documenters? What are your best tips (either what you do or what you’d like to do!)? What are the best online printing sites in your country? I’m particularly interested in hearing this for different parts of the world, because with local delivery options, we could be very efficient with photo gifts if we used foreign sites, saving trips to the post office. Thanks in advance!