Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Capturing Family History in the Making

Who doesn't love looking at photos? Especially when captioned by someone who was there! 

As the official family historian, I'm usually the person taking the photo but also make sure I appear in at least some of the photos. I curate the photos and copy the very best into a separate digital folder to use in two bite-sized projects during December. 

Yearly Book Shows "Our Life in Photos"

To capture family history in the making, I create a yearly photo book showing the adventures my hubby and I have had in the previous 12 months. It's a bite-sized, affordable project that will keep these family memories bright. Above, a few of these annual books showing "our life in photos." 

I begin the book in November, placing photos from my "best of" folder, along with informative, light-hearted captions, into preset layouts provided by the photo book company. At the end of December, as soon as I have the last holiday photos and captions in place, I click to order (with a coupon, naturally). These books are wonderful for browsing now and I hope they will be enjoyed later by future generations. My 2020 book is in the mail right now!

Annual Calendar Combines Family and Ancestor Photos

Another bite-sized, affordable project is creating a family photo calendar for the coming year (see center of photo above). All year long, relatives send me photos that I file in a special "calendar folder" to save until November or December, when I begin placing them into the coming year's calendar.

Again, I choose from preset layouts provided by the company. Much of the time, I place a large group photo on the top page of the month and scatter individual photos on selected dates for that month. I choose a good (or amusing) photo of each relative for his or her birthday, and a photo for each couple's wedding anniversary. Often the photos are quite recent, but I also like to change things up by including baby pictures of an adult.

The calendar helps family members remember birthdays and anniversaries...and be aware of the dates of special ancestors who are gone but not forgotten. So for instance, my mother's photo is placed on the date of her birthday, along with her name.

In the last few years, a niece has had the fun of putting the family calendar together. She brings a fresh creative approach and it's a pleasure to see what she does with the calendar as she mixes faces from today with photos from yesterday.  

Now the new year is almost here, and I'm feeling happy that this much-loved calendar tradition is continuing into the next generation. Twelve months of recent family history mixed with some blasts from the distant past!

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