So last year I resolved to make my bed every day and guess what? I actually stuck with it. Not every single day, but most days and just that simple little action each morning made me quite happy. This year my resolution is a bit more ambitious. It's something I have been saying I need to do for awhile. During the holidays it came bubbling up to the surface in a more forceful way when I attempted and failed to make and send photo cards. Then during our trip to Bulgaria, we spent part of the time looking at their albums filled with our kids when they were babies together in Japan and I realized I really need to do the same sort of simple photo albums for my own kids. And this past week it appeared again in the form of Noah's family tree photo project. I should get some sort of extra credit for the amount of time I spent viewing each month from the past seven years to find family photos. Instead, I got motivated to finally do something about this image issue. It's a multi-pronged issue for me: printing and displaying photos.
The first problem is the printing. Why is it that in this age of easy internet access and good quality home photo printers do I rarely print anything? Part of me yearns to return to the age of film when I would spend hours in the high school darkroom, standing in the dark, swishing photo paper in chemicals and waiting for the images to emerge. That was a very tactile and olfactory printing experience. Or even that "old fashioned" experience of anxiously dropping off a roll of film with twenty four attempts and waiting to see if any of the images came out the way I hoped they would. I guess part of it comes down to my love of surprises. These days the printing process just doesn't have that same element of excitement. I can hit play on my camera and instantly see what I have captured and so I just keep shooting and accumulating and never printing.
And then there is the issue of displaying. It would seem like in this time of digital wonders that our home would be drowning with pics of smiling faces and happy travels, but the reality is that the only thing groaning under the weight of the thousands of images that I take each year is my hard drive. Even my flickr account has been badly neglected, but the most obvious area of neglect is in my home. We have a few framed baby pics of our kids hanging in the hall near their room and holiday cards from the past two years still hanging up in our kitchen, but that's about it. Isn't that horrible? It's especially sad since we do live so far from family and friends and pretty pathetic since I come from a family of photographers. For a few years I was good about making annual photo books highlighting memorable moments from the year. But I haven't done one of those in awhile. Really, the only place that gets a regular dose of image display is this blog and the kids don't sit down to read it yet, so I need to get my butt in gear and change this situation in our home.
So in 2011 I am resolved to printing and displaying photos (in easy access albums and on the walls/shelves). I just placed an order for 2 photo albums and I have one large hanging frame that can hold 100 images. I bought the frame several years ago with the intention of hanging it in the kids' room and this year it will finally happen. I would also like to complete at least three photo trip books this year. Those are my photo resolutions for 2011. So anyone have suggestions or favorite on-line printing companies?
Sorry this post got so long and wordy. I originally intended to post these cool old family photographs as the most recent motivators for this year's resolution. Those are our grandfathers that we never met and these are the only photographs we have of them here with us in Sicily. The photo on the left is my paternal grandfather. He died before I was born. He was a documentary photographer in Louisiana during the 1940s. In that photo he is signing one of his books and I am pretty sure that is my grandmother in the background. The other photograph is Adam's maternal grandfather who also died many years before he was born. Isn't that a great photograph of him in his twenties? That was taken one summer when he was playing the saxophone in the Catskills. I found the photo of my grandfather on-line and my in-laws e-mailed us the other image. We didn't bring any older family photos with us to Sicily (they are all in storage back in the States) but I regret that decision. So today I am going to print these two pics of our grandfathers and get a start on my 2011 resolution. Anyone else making resolutions this year?