Making Memories (and Keeping Them)

memory keeping, photographs, Instagram, printing pictures, square pictures

My mother passed along her love of photographs to me. When I was younger, I remember working on my own scrapbooks and helping her put together various family albums. Sometimes I wasn’t in the mood to help and sometimes I felt annoyed that she would “force” us to take family photos. I didn’t understand why she was so insistent on documenting those moments.

With age comes growth and wisdom. Now I completely understand why she always wanted to have photographs. Sometimes those pictures are all you have left.

memory keeping, photographs, Instagram, printing pictures, square pictures

Last year, I decided I wanted to redecorate my room. One area I changed was the wall above my desk. I selected some of my favorite pictures from Instagram and had them printed at Walgreens. It was super easy, they were ready in about an hour, and the whole thing cost me less than $10. I then arranged these in a grid on my wall and I love the way it turned about. These photos remind me of some of my favorite recent memories every time I look at them.

memory keeping, photographs, Instagram, printing pictures, square pictures

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about making memories and documenting them. I’ve been devouring blogs like Caylee Gray and Life: Captured Inc. I also made it a goal this year to journal daily and so far I’ve been doing surprisingly well (perhaps I’ll write more about that in a separate post). I think these things go hand-in-hand: capturing moments both visually and in written form.

memory keeping, photographs, Instagram, printing pictures, square pictures

I want to continue to write more and I want to become better at documenting moments. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a few trips coming up this year and I’m thinking about keeping a travelogue for one of them. Even when I do things here in NYC, I want to push myself to take my camera along and capture those moments.

memory keeping, photographs, Instagram, printing pictures, square pictures

I’ve also thought about making a few photo books using Artifact Uprising. One would be for the road trip my family took last summer. I actually already made a photo book of this trip, but I did it in a rush and I did it for my mom, so the style is a bit different than what I would choose. I’ve also thought of making photo books for the trips I took to Spain several years ago. I have hundreds (maybe thousands) of pictures and they’re just sitting on my computer. My main worry is that the pictures were pre-DSLR, so the quality might not be good enough for a photo book. I may give it a try though and see how it turns out.

Recently, I’ve felt like getting crafty/being creative again, which is a good thing. Hopefully I will actually put some of these projects in motion! Now I have a couple questions for you guys:

Do you do any sort of memory keeping (scrapbooks, Project Life, etc.)?
Have you ever made a photo album or photo book?

If you have any resources for me when it comes to memory keeping, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!


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  1. says

    I agree with you. Photos make wonderful memories. I love how the area above your desk turned out, it looks so perfect and serene. What a happy place!

  2. Comfycozyup Books (Comfycozyup says

    I still have a picture album. As well as a scrapbook for my memorable moments like my 5k race numbers and pins, old college stuff, and other things that I like. Computer and other devices are lovely, but I still love looking at my memorable moments around my home. Great post!

    • says

      Photo albums are so great. I was flipping through the baby album of one of my siblings when I was home, and even though it’s falling apart at the seams, we love it so much. I typically save memorabilia from events and trips, I just never do anything with it! Hopefully that’s something I can work on this year :)

  3. says

    I had such a dedicated scrapbook/photo album effort back in high school and for a few years after, but then it just sort of dissipated. I phones took the place of cameras, and the event of uploading and editing went away (save for blog photos, which is pretty much all my DSLR gets used for these days). Part of me feels like life just got less interesting, and even my instagram photos are less snapshots of my life and more things I’ve staged. The last photo I took of a sunset wasn’t me taking a moment of my day to think about life and watch the sunset, it was me driving over a bridge and pulling over to quickly snap a photo because it would make a good instagram. then i rushed off, late for one thing or another.

    I hope your efforts go well and you find yourself in the habit of documenting life, and keeping those memories for generations to come.

    • says

      I have a few scrapbooks from high school too- two of them were gifts and one I was working on myself. That’s very true- iPhones did replace cameras, especially as the iPhone camera just got better and better. It’s so much easier/more convenient to just carry your iPhone. I didn’t take my DSLR when I went home last summer and I really regretted it (I ended up borrowing one for a friend). When I’m looking back at pictures, I’m usually wishing that I took more pics, not less, so that tells me I have something to work on. My life is definitely not that interesting, but I still think it would be nice to document those less interesting moments too. When we were in high school, my best friend and I used to take a bunch of random pictures for no particular reason (we were just hanging out) and those photos are so fun to look back at. My Instagram definitely has staged pictures and I’ve been posting less because I either forget to capture those nice moments when I’m out and about, or I’m too self-conscious to. Thanks for your lovely comment and encouragement, Lydia!

  4. says

    Hi Nnenna! I don’t trust my photography skills so I mostly pick things along the way tickets. receipts. etc and add them in my then current journal because I feel that I have a separate scrapbook, I will never get to do it. Also I am trying to reduce stationery hoarding. ;-)

    • says

      Hi! I like to keep memorabilia too and sticking it into your current journal is probably a good idea, because mine just sits around in my apartment! I want to do a dedicated travel journal for the trip I’m taking this summer and then I plan to stick memorabilia directly in there.

      I have a lot of stationery, but I always want more :) I realized the other day that I don’t even have a good sense of what I own because I live in a tiny apartment, so a lot of it is tucked away in various places!

  5. Katherine says

    I definitely love taking photos and the instafilm ones that come out as soon as you have taken them. They are great for scrapbooking. I do the same kind of thing like you and stick pictures up on my walls at home and when I want a refresher I put up new photos. Making photobooks are great for memories too and they aren’t too expensive to make :)

    • says

      I’ve always wanted one of those! Hopefully I can pick up an Instax camera before my next trip. Yes, that’s so true- it’s actually pretty affordable to print pictures and they are such great keepsakes :)