Edit, Edit, Edit

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So when it comes to photo albums, I guess this means we should be fairly brutal with the edits.

I've talked before about my tendency to take (and keep) a lot of photos. When I lived in New York it seemed like I took photos of every night out I ever had. Long before Facebook meant doing this was normal.

Me, in a cocktail bar, in New York. Many years ago. 

I've now gone through every one of those old photo albums and decided what to keep and what to discard, but I'm determined to keep up the habit of making physical photo albums -- despite our obsession with digital storage these days. I was discussing this with my Aunt while I was back in the States recently and neither of us are convinced that digital albums will stand the test of time. When someone is gone, they'll get lost in the shuffle. Whereas a physical album is much easier to keep track of and hand down to the generations. Because what is more fun than sitting around and looking at old photos? (Ok, not the most fun, that's reserved for golf of course, the Most Fun You Can Have With Your Clothes On.)

This means that now I have to take the old photos I've decided to keep and put them back into albums. Fine. But what to do going forward as the digital images keep stacking up? My experience reviewing the numerous bar shot photos from New York tells me one must have considerable distance from a time period to be a better editor. So don't make an album of a year at the end of the year -- make it five years down the line. Ergo my plan: make albums in five year chunks, with a look-back period of 5 years. That means this year, make an album for the period of 2005-2010. (For the digital type I still think Shutterfly offers the best value for money, which is annoying as I think they only ship to the U.S. -- any recommendations for the U.K.?)

I think once-in-a-lifetime holidays offer an exception for their own album, made much closer to the event, particularly when you want to remember specific things (maybe even something you've learned?). For example, the Hub and I are heading off to Egypt on a Nile cruise in a little over a week, which definitely qualifies as a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. I cannot see not making a physical album of that experience.

Some people aren't into photos, and I get that. And in some ways I envy them -- they are probably living in the moment more than me. But I get so much joy from looking through old photos and remembering fun times. My Grandmother has stacks of albums she put together over the years -- including family holidays, one for each of her 4 children and 8 grandchildren, and all the family weddings. At some point during each visit to her house, I steal up to the room upstairs, where some of them are kept and page through at least one. And with that strong a connection to her albums, how could I not want to keep my own?

Do you still keep physical photo albums? Or are you happy to go digital?

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