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Monday Mom challenge: Photo displays

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Refreshing your memories

We all have them around the house: Framed photos of family, friends, happy memories and favorite people, (especially the kids). But how many of those pictures at all resemble the people around you right now? Is it time to update the photos in your frames?

Family Photos

I'm a very visual person. I have lots of photos in frames around the house, and I enjoy their company and the memories they trigger. Thing is, I'm also a very busy person. A couple of weeks ago, I realized it had been at least a year and a half since I had put up a new photo; the kids in the photos were much younger than the kids around me now, and plenty of new memories had been made since then. It was long since time to update.

Print

I think the one downside to digital cameras is that I have fewer physical photographs at any given time. Yes, I can get them printed, and by printing only the ones I really like, I save money. But actually doing that seems to happen less and less often. So, for this update to happen, first things first: I had to locate the photos I wanted to display.

I built a window of time into a day to look through photos from the past year on the family computer and send some off to be printed. I could have spent all day! But instead, I skimmed through and selected a couple dozen to print based solely on quick instinct. The prints were inexpensive enough that, if I didn't use them all, that would be okay. A few hours later, I picked up the printed photos while out running errands.

Edit and update

After picking up the printed photos, I had two decisions : Deciding which of the currently framed photos to replace, and de which of the new photos to replace them with.

There were some photos that were easy to replace, but some were harder. In choosing which photos to retire, I considered whether I had other photos up of that child at that general age, or whether one us in a family photo looked a little goofy. Reminding myself that we'd still have the photos I was taking down in an album made it easier, too; it's not like I was throwing them away. When I looked through the newer photos I printed out, I found some great ones, and choosing which would go in which now-empty frames was fairly easy. I had others that I wanted to put up, too, but no frames. A few others didn't make the framing cut, and I put those in the album with the photos I'd just removed from frames.

Add

If you still have photos you want to put up after the printing, editing and updating process, it's time to add some frames to your collection.

I've found great frames in crazy places. The dollar store sometimes has fun ones, as do other discount, art, department and gift stores. Art supply stores in particular are wonderful sources for simple, uniform frames that let the image speak. I needed to pick up some craft supplies for my son's school project anyway, so I found a coupon for a local arts and crafts store and purchased frames fairly inexpensively. With all these new framed photos, you might need a new spot for photos. Is there a hallway you can turn into a family gallery? They're the best when you have a real mish-mash of frames and photo sizes, high and low, that can really fill up the space. Do you have room on a wall up high somewhere? A powder room, even? No matter where you put all these newly framed photos, the bigger point is that you do it -- even if it's just a few at a time. Updating the photo memories around the house will bring a smile to your face, and probably to the faces of your family -- which means it's time to get out the camera again and take some more photos.

more on photos and monday mom challenges:

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