31 Days in Europe: Thoughts on Vacation Photos

Since it’s Saturday and we’re midway through the 31-Day Challenge, I thought it was time for a little reflection about all those photos that we take on vacation.

There are good ones…

Image credit: Got My Reservations

and there are bad ones.

I'm not claiming any credit for this image.

There are the ones that I should have erased from my digital camera as soon as they were taken …

War memorial at Dover Castle

and there are the funny photos that it’s quite probable only you and a few select friends would even laugh at.

There are the ones that you collect…

We collect photos of stupid and ironic signs

and the ubiquitous photos of flowers that when separated from their context, look just like the other flower photos I took.

Image credit: Got My Reservations

So — what do you do with all of those photographs? In my house, we have a relatively healthy competition over whose photos are the best. We each keep photo files on our computers and historically haven’t been very good about sharing. This year was a breakthrough, though. As soon as we got home from England, we created a Snapfish hard cover scrapbook of our vacation photos. Husband went through all of the photos and pared them down to about 250 out of about 2,000 photos we took. Then we imported them into the Snapfish program and created our book. The fact that we had a 50% off coupon that was expiring provided motivation and created momentum to get the job done, and I’m glad we did this. It’s a lot easier to take a photo book to a party than to take my computer and hook it all up for people to view on a small screen.

Snapfish Photo Book

I think I may be addicted to these photo books. I used to try to scrapbook my vacations and events, and even though I have friends who regularly have scrapbooking parties and encourage me to share their scrapbooking habit, I just bought materials and never used them. I also think that in the long term goal of getting rid of things, these relatively small mementos of vacations are more likely to be cherished and revisited over the years.

What do you do with your photos? Do you still have hard copy prints in the envelopes from twenty years ago? What will your children do with your photos? I hope that the fate of your vacation and family stories won’t lie on the floor of a closet in a deserted home, as my next door neighbors’ are. When both parents passed away, the kids left all the slides and photos in the house they let go to foreclosure. It breaks my heart.

Although not a vacation photo, I thought I’d share a precious personal photo with you. My cousin and her mom (my mother’s sister) recently broke up their scrapbooks and sent me the photos that were of me and my family. I’ve never seen this photo before, but my forehead still bears the scar that resulted from the injury that is pictured in the photo. Thanks to the thoughtfulness of my cousin, I now have a totally cute picture of me with my band-aid.

Image via Got My Reservations

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