I get so many questions on how I, as a professional photographer, document our family. I am just as guilty as the next mama and photographer for using my iPhone 99% of the time. It’s smaller, easier, faster. I struggled for awhile to find the best mix of memory-keeping. I think I’ve finally got it down to a science, and I have been using this method for the last year or more, and feel like we have our life fairly well documented!
Let me start with what we’ve been using the longest… Chatbooks. We started using these shortly after they came out, in 2014. I had learned about them from another social media influencer and thought it would be the perfect solution to the terrifying experience we had just encountered. We had recently gotten new iPhones and somehow all of our photos were gone- GONE! I knew I needed to have our memories captured in print.
Chatbooks pulls right from your instagram. You can link multiple accounts and add your own photos, or delete ones that automatically pulled in that you may not want. They have started to collaborate with companies like Rifle Paper Co. to bring you amazingly fun covers and have also started to offer hardcover versions as well. The quality is great, they are becoming more customizable by the day, and it’s a no-brainer. They only thing I need to be responsible for is approving the images in each book before it ships!
How we use Chatbooks: To capture our everyday moments in photo form.
Over the last year, this is one of the two additional items I added to our memory-keeping arsenal. I discovered this while watching a video another friend had created. I was hooked! I had recently discovered the little slideshows that you can create around people on your iPhone and was in a puddle over watching my girls babyhood moments unfold in front of my eyes!
We have so many videos of the kids saved on our phones, that again, can just disappear if we aren’t careful! This little app is called 1SE, or 1 Second Everyday. It literally will record one second of your everyday- you can upload videos, photos, etc. This one can be a bit harder to keep up with than Chatbooks, only because I am Type A and have to have a video/photo for each day of the month. But, you could totally choose to skip days and just use what you have for the month. You can also customize videos. the timeline which you compile- so at the end of the year, we will have 1 second of our last 365 days, in addition to our monthly videos!
How we use 1 Second Everyday: To capture our small snippets of life throughout the month/year.
This idea was on my horizon before the above method I mentioned, but this took me longer to implement. This is definitely a labor of love. This is our family yearbook. A friend and fellow photographer gave me the idea after I saw what she had done for her family. I loved the idea, as a compiled way to print all of the photos I took throughout the year with my DSLR.
Typically we house big moments in this yearbook- first and last day of school, birthdays, holidays, trips and our yearly photoshoots- family and one for each of the girls. I buy my books from my professional lab, but they have a sister company that is available to consumers called MPIX.com. I highly suggest this book to use for your family’s yearbook! P.S. They are also my go-to for prints- WAY better than snappish, shutterfly or an CVS/Target version. (Take my word for this- don’t spend money for professional photos and then get crappy prints!)
How we use our Family Yearbook: To capture life’s big moments.
These have really been such a good way to capture our life moments. We have covered just about every base with these three methods, and I feel confident that our lives, and my girls’ childhoods will be well-documented. I didn’t do a great job with baby books, so hopefully this makes up for it
The girls also love to get them all out and look through them! It’s a good way to keep them busy (hint, hint)!