My children and I sat and looked at our photo album today. It's a photobook containing a mish-mash of photos from 2010 to 2014. A very brief set of snapshots from the thousands and thousands of images we have on the computer.
We were inspired to look through these photos after I read a thought provoking article on a favourite website of mine. (I'll put a link to the article at the end of this blog). The article talked about how by printing off photos to share with your child you create a sense of belonging. It made me think in a number of ways and I thought I'd share them with you.
It made me realise that I need to be better at printing off photos. You'd think being a photographer I would be excellent at doing this. It seems not though. Both my sisters have fabulous photographic records of their growing families but it is not something I find easy. I guess perhaps I put more pressure on myself to only have 'perfect' pictures on display. Often I love the blurred, out of focus pictures and the memories they conjure up but I feel I should prefer the more conventional images that I strive to capture as a photographer of everyone looking relaxed, happy and in focus at the same time. These are insecurities that I could release by accepting that it's ok to be imperfect and 'different'. Anyway, the article did inspire me to make a year book for 2015. It's been a jam packed year of adventures and I also know I have a good number of photos of Mum that I would like to include to help my children remember their colourful, shining Grandma who adored them. I haven't done it yet, but I know that now I understand just how important it is, I will do this.
So it made me realise I have a responsibility to document my children's early lives for them. And it reminded me of the simple pleasure of looking through those photos with my children and sharing our memories and thoughts. The children loved looking through pictures and so often they weren't sure which child the photo was of!
My Mum was a diligent documenter of her growing family. Mum created stacks and stacks of photo albums full of events like birthday parties and Christmases and holidays. A catalogue of memories that I remember loving looking through as a child. It's been a while since we had them out and I'm looking forward to spending some time with my family of origin and my own family of creation sharing those photo albums full of memories again. They are buried away somewhere at the moment but the anticipation of bringing Mum back into our lives through the images she recorded of us all as children is intense. I know it will be a joyful, painful experience to look through those albums.
Here is the link to the article in case you'd like to read it yourself: http://creativewithkids.com/build-connection-how-photos-create-a-sense-of-belonging-in-kids/