Personal, Newborn Studio Sessions

March 11, 2024

Photographs Keep our Memories

Spring cleaning a house full of toys, books, housewares, papers, and just too many things always brings me back to one idea: photographs keep our memories. Most of us will eventually donate many baby toys or other items that we no longer use. But the photographs that we have of our own childhood and then of our children as babies, we will hopefully keep forever.

Photographs keep our memories in a Deckled Edge print of a couple holding their baby boy

Meaningful work

There is a quote by Leonardo Da Vinci that I think speaks well to career choices. “Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose.” From the time I was little I always knew that I was an artist and would always be an artist. In elementary school I carved out my own corner of the unfinished basement and declared it my “art studio.” I sat there and painted for hours. It makes sense to me that I became an art teacher, and then eventually found myself gravitating to a newborn and family photography career. I still will always be creating art for myself, but I love that photography is how I create art for others.

A canvas with a quote on it and paintbrushes and oil paint where photographs keep our memories

Decluttering toys, but saving photographs, always!

As I started my annual decluttering mission this year, I had to get rid of things, some of which that are tied to good memories. I “had” to, due to lack of space and my disdain for clutter. I’m very sentimental and parting with my own children’s toys and their favorite outgrown outfits is hard for me.  One of the ways I have let go of items that are connected to meaningful memories is to take photos of them. Then I can let those things that take up space go. It does help to set aside a bin of a few favorites to keep. Ok, let’s be honest, several bins, in my case. 😉

Velvet album open with images of a newborn baby wrapped in a white fabric so that photographs keep our memories

Preserving old memories

Although this problem wasn’t new for me, as I also had my own memories pre-kids to preserve.  For example, I used to run races competitively for years as a teen and young adult and I had dozens of running t-shirts taking up room in a drawer. I didn’t really want to wear them anymore, so a few years ago I placed them in a line on my floor, took a photo, and got rid of them. It wasn’t easy letting go of these items because of what they represented for me.

Things are sometimes attached to memories; and that’s hard to let go

They reminded me of all of my hard work I invested in building endurance and speed to win awards for running 5k races up to half-marathons. Removing the shirts doesn’t detract from my accomplishments, but maybe I was afraid of letting go of that part of my life. And the t-shirts were just symbols of a time that has passed, as things changed and my life had new things in store for me. And just for the record, I do still run short distance for enjoyment and fitness, but due to some old disc injuries (not even running related), I don’t race anymore.

photo of a family holding their baby girl so photographs keep our memories

Photographs Keep our Memories in a Tangible Format

I often lament as I clean, how the most priceless thing I own are my photo albums from growing up and my photos of my children. I sometimes part with objects that are sentimental, but not my photographs. These are the tangible items of which I would never let go. And so being a photographer has more benefits besides having beautiful images of my own family. Photography, as a service to others, is very gratifying because I love knowing that what I do is important in other people’s lives.

photographs keep our memories in a newborn album with velvet cover showcasing a mom and dad smiling at their baby boy

Knowing that the most valuable physical items that I have are my family’s photographs, means so much to me. Living a meaningful life is not about how many things you have, but how you love others. And looking at my life in the form of photographs is my favorite way to tell that story and remind me of those little moments along the way. Photographs keep our memories in a nice, relatively compact way. Creating a photo album is one way to preserve memories and it becomes more valuable over time.

matted print box showcasing photos of a newborn and 1st birthday portraits
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Photographs keep our memories better than digital files, so print them!

Photographs keep our memories, so make sure to get those digital files printed soon after you receive them. It is so easy to get behind with printing our photos. Working with a professional photographer who offers printed heirloom products will help you achieve this goal quickly. If you don’t want to DIY, or you find that you just don’t have the time to print your own photos, let your photographer take that task off of your plate! Ready to make some new memories? Contact Rebecca Leigh Photography, a newborn, baby, maternity, and family photographer located in Maryland.

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