I love photo albums, always have. I love the memories and looking back at my older family and wondering what life was like for them. It’s always held a bit of a fascination for me. However, lets be honest, they are a bit of a thing from the past aren’t they? And they do take up a lot of space on your shelves and collect a lot dust (or is that just me who never quite gets round to dusting shelves?)
The 21st Century version is surely the smart phone, Facebook or Instagram right? Do you have 1000s of images on your phone? Do you ever do anything with them? What will happen to them if you drop your phone or it dies without warning?
Maybe you are really good at backing up to the ‘Cloud’ (or maybe like me you’ve had your head in the clouds about the financial and emotional pains of a hard drive failure until it bites you..hard) but then what? What you are going to actually do with them?
Vint Cerf, Google Vice President and widely recognised as one of the ‘fathers of the internet’ has warned that the 21st Century could become a second ‘dark age’ because so much data is only being stored in digital format. As technology evolves, older digital files will become unreadable and therefore access to them will disappear.
In the past, historians have used newspapers, letters and photos as important sources, but how often do we use any of these now? What will the historians of the future use to learn about us?
Think back to the favourite films you had on VHS or DVD. Maybe you still have a DVD player but I bet you can no longer watch your childhood favourites on VHS (Betamax anyone???). Whilst it’s annoying to have to do, you can re purchase your favourite films in the current format but in the years to come, will you be able to access your photos?
OK, so the chances are that you won’t actually want to access the majority of those photos on your phone but I bet there are some gems in there that you will be gutted to lose.
The solution? A Photobook.
Every year when our son turns a year older, I create a photobook of the year just gone. (well, if I’m honest, I finally get round to it about 4 months later but you get my meaning). I go through all the photos that I’ve taken - there a LOT! - and upload a selection. Not just the key highlights of holidays and family events but also some of the examples of little trips, of milestones and funny faces or situations that happened along the way.
My preferred website for doing this is Photobox, but there are so many other companies out there who provide really simple-to-use software to create great, professional looking books in just a few evenings.
You can totally customise your pages to your taste, add text, keep pages blank for tickets or other memorabilia you might want to include & even create multiple versions for grandparents. What’s more, many of them have regular sales where you can buy credit for a set period, which i find is a great incentive to actually get on with it.
You then own a beautiful, fully customised book that you can look back on, marvel at how the kids have grown and hand down to future generations. Then you can clear some precious space on your hard drive and not even lose a massive space on your bookshelves