I must give many thanks to my mother, who was always saving photos from my childhood. I think I learned to preserve photos after seeing her neatly save countless report cards, drawings and photos over the years. I recently discovered a bag of envelopes tucked away in a box of my old baby clothes. My mom had labeled each envelope starting in 1989 and in it sat our family christmas card each year. I had no idea she kept these, and finding them I felt tears rush down my face. I saw my childhood cat in 1997, who has since passed away. I saw my first christmas card appearance in 1990 where my brother was holding me up with a giant smile across his face. I began to realize how important my job is; I create pieces of history for the families who hire me. It is much more than just a photo.. it is a memory. These photos document our sibling-hood over the span of 16 years.
One of my favorite things as a child was going through my Nana's basement to find boxes filled with photos of my mother and aunts. I was able to take a peak into their childhood by seeing photos of them lined up in front of the christmas tree each year in homemade dresses. I found a photo of my mom running a 5k race and had no idea she was a runner in her 30's before she had kids. I saw photos of my aunt as a state champion gymnastic competitor. To this day I keep a photo of my Nana and my grandfather on their wedding day (June 5th), which happened to be the day I was born, many years later. I never had the honor of meeting my grandfather, but by viewing these photos I was able to connect with him. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able hold them in my hands. It is a gift from generations before me, handing down memories and traditions displayed in invaluable pieces of Kodak paper.
As the world becomes more and more dependant on social media and the internet, it is important that we take the time to print photos so that we have these memories not only stored online, but in a frame on our wall or in a scrapbook.