One can touch the photos…
The reason is that simple…
Flipping the pages in a photo album is akin to how some people still like to read an actual book versus reading from a Kindle…
While others prefer to appreciate their photos from a digital source, my family members like to flip over each page of an album…
I am blogging about this because I would like to share just why I hold photo albums so dear in my home and recount how and when I really started taking an active interest in them..
After marriage, my husband and my possessions heaped on top of one another..and as I looked around at our new home, I realised I had better get on top of BOTH our stuff accumulated over our bachelor days..
I myself did not have many photographs ..just two albums .. I still remembered many pages which had empty plastic pockets…I guess I must have ‘borrowed’ some photos here and there but did not return them to their rightful place after I was done with them….a slight twang of regret did lace my heart then as I racked my brains to remember if I might still have them…or maybe I pasted them on school projects and handed it up to the teacher…or had I taken them out to place inside photo frames of which the latter I had discarded or given away due to house-moving….
On the other hand, my husband had brought over stacks and stacks of photos ..not just of his growing up years..but those of his brother’s, sister’s, his entire family’s..
And they were just randomly bundled together..stacked up…and secured by faded rubber bands..I felt a little sad when I saw them so carelessly arranged..to me photos capture so many memories of moments and events…and as I was just ‘itching’ for my husband to have his better arranged, I decide to undertake that as my personal project..
I arranged his from childhood to adulthood..
and once when I was done, even he was taken aback at some of the photos he had forgotten he had…I felt glad that I had helped him to recall some previous years’ events…with extended relatives, of his outings with his schoolmates and those of his childhood years growing up in different countries and neighbourhoods..
I gave his brother and sister their photos I had ordered in photo albums ..perhaps I was impressing onto them the significance of the past… I don’t know..but to a certain degree I was glad the photos were still in good condition and they memories to hold on to as they get older..
Memories become orderly when one puts them in a photo album..
I appreciate that even more now as I see the incidences of dementia on the rise around me where I live..
Also, since the children were born we had snapped so many pictures and put them in albums reserved for them…now, as I look back I do not regret starting such a tradition…
This tradition is on every family’s birthday, we will celebrate with a birthday cake and sing the birthday song and snap a shot of a simple family celebration..
We had never held a tradition of holding parties for our children because we felt we would not be able to sustain that through their growing up years..but a birthday cake and song and snapping a remembrance of yet another year was extremely doable!
It’s a birthday tradition we have upheld till now..for every one of the family..it’s nice to reminince now and then the years that have walked by when I turn the pages of the album or my younger daughter gets hit by bouts of ‘childhood nolstagia’ and needs a mood booster..she happily drags out all the albums and immerses in her memories of her younger days by going through each album..and she tells me she notices something new every time 🙂
And hence we have a trail of photos to remember our family togetherness ..
So, what are some other reasons we might still favor photo albums over digital albums?
1. The photos can be taken out
Sometimes I notice our photo albums have missing photos. Other than the obvious reasons of taking one or two to complete a school project, I notice they are taken out to place in photo frames on study desks or bedside tables to remind one of a happy memory. It helps the family member get through a stressful period or a difficult emotional time.
2. Peace Of Mind
Once one places a photo inside an album, one is immediately rest assured that one can always ‘revisit’ an event and will not forget it. One is reassured that at any time , one can bring out the album and know that its contents will be there.
If it is placed in a digital album, it might get erased (accidentally!) or one has to wade through a maze of files to locate that one single picture!
A challenge that besets us for digital albums is we need to think about ‘transferring pictures here and there’ ,from one app to another, because memory space is full. One can’t just leave a photo there and forget it! Also, there are constantly new apps which boast bigger and better storage space than its predecessors. This ‘complicates’ tidying up (digital clutter does exist!). Also, the internet is in a constant state of change and hence actually I find everything stored in virtual space open to danger (although arguably photo albums are vulnerable to fires too so back up yours in a thumb drive if yours is in a digital space)
3. A Legacy
The photo albums won’t stay with us for long anyway: when my children get married and move away, they will each have their albums as keepsakes..that was my husband and my plan after all when we started the tradition of snapping pictures of every birthday..we hope having these keepsakes will keep us and their NEW families close together!
Recently, when I went to print some photos, an uncle from a photo print shop reminded me why I had bought Muji photo albums from the start..other than Muji’s photo album having a modern design and it can hold several photos in one book, the uncle cheerfully reminded me that I should buy a ‘better’ photo album and he approved of Muji’s as it is “made in Japan” :))
Herefore, my soft spot for storing photos in a family album goes a long way back. Although I concede that this will be upheld as a tradition for as long as the family feels it meets their needs, I do not once think that it will stay the same forever.
I think only if every family member agrees and likes such a way of collating and storing memories then will such a home organisation tradition be maintained in the longer run.