I know how much you absolutely adore your kids and family.
You are the dedicated family historian, and snap photo after photo, trying to preserve every moment. You are determined to never forget your baby's first steps, that time you let them jump in mud puddles, or your annual trip to the orchard for apple picking.
You tell yourself that you're going to print all these memories. But really, to you snapping the photos is more fun.
You've taken the time to learn a bit about photography, and love that it's a hobby that allows you to feel fulfilled while connecting with your kids. Not to mention it's something just for you, that easily fits into your busy mom life.
But I also know how that busy life can easily eat away at your schedule and your sanity.
I see you collapsing at the end of a long hard day, and promising yourself that you'll work on that photo album tomorrow (as soon as the dishes are clean, the laundry is put away, and the clutter in your home is cleared).
The tomorrows start adding up, and suddenly you realize it's been 5 years (or more!) and your photos are all still locked away digitally on a device. So you share a few on social media, and promise yourself that you'll print that album soon.
Only when you sit down to start the process, it adds in an extra layer of stress, because your digital files are nowhere near organized, and you have no idea where to begin with printing your backlog of images.
Today I'm here to remind you that printing is the most important part of being your family historian.
And I'm urging you to not wait another day to get those images in your hands or on the walls. Because 30 years from now, your technology may be obsolete, but your prints, books, and albums will not.
Remind yourself that it's okay to take a day off from documenting in order to print instead, that your family's photo books and printed pictures will be treasured whether or not they look like they come from your favorite photographer's website, and it's ok to delete a few bad photos in order to allow the good ones to shine.
30 years ago, there was no such thing as a DSLR, iPhone, Internet, or Social Media. Cameras had 24 film exposures to get it right, and there was no immediate gratification from a Facebook "like." There was simply the anticipation of picking up your one hour photo lab envelope, in the hopes that a few of the photos turned out.
Your 24,000 digital files do not all need permanent preservation.
But some of them deserve to make the cut into your family archives, and it's up to you to make the commitment to get them there.
When printing starts to feel too overwhelming, too hard, too complicated, too time consuming, remind yourself WHY. Why your take photos in the first place.
Think about how you'll feel, all cozied up together with your family, flipping through old memories. Think about the love that will radiate from the pages as you relive the stories of your past. Imagine turning your house into a home, as you fill frames with the people and places you love and hang them on your walls.
Instead of getting stuck in the process, be freed by the outcome. Because perfect photos are, by far and away, the printed ones.
It's time to get to work.
And I'm here to support you in the journey.
Let's get printing.
This post first appeared on Beryl Ayn Young's blog where she inspires moms to love their photos and their life. If you're in need of a printing intervention join Beryl for a free 2 week mini class called Embrace Your Phone, where you'll commit to getting a simple project off your device and into your life for good. Click HERE now to register for this free two week adventure.
Photo credit: Love Knot Photo