The Goal Behind the Goal: I Want to Be a Better Memory Keeper.

Canvas People large canvas family photoOne of my goals for the year is to print my photos quarterly.

What I didn’t tell you was the goal-beneath-the-goal: I want to be a better memory keeper.

I’m not only lax about printing photos (hence the goal);  I’m terrible at not doing anything with them. If I don’t order prints, you can bet I don’t frame them, enlarge them, and the like. I’d love to have family photos in frames, and on the walls, into books and albums, and ready to share with far-off relatives

And guess what? I’m actually making progress.

First, I turned one of my favorite photos from last fall into a 16×20 canvas.

Canvas People large canvas family photo

I love how this photo captures our family life without even showing our faces. Although it’s missing a family member, so I’m going to need to order a companion canvas that includes my omitted daughter.  Soon!

I liked it so much that when I found out about a deal to get a free 8×10 canvas, I pounced, and ordered up another of my favorite photos from the fall.


He looks like a monkey and I love it. 

While I had photos on the brain, my kids and I wrote get-well cards and shipped off a stack of photos to far-away relatives. We hadn’t sent them photos in so long it was getting a little embarrassing.


A handwritten note + photos of the great-grandkids =  a good mail day. 

In the months to come, I’d like to frame some photos for my walls, fill up a few picture frames, order a photo book or five, and keep printing my photos.

But for now, I’m proud of my progress. This is a small thing, but it’s not an easy one for me. And it’s making me happy to create concrete ways to preserve our happy memories.

If you’re interested in keeping your own memories:

Use this link to get a free 8×10 canvas from Canvas People. You just pay shipping. (If you’d rather order a great big canvas, you can choose to get $50 off any size instead.) Good through April 26.

Use this link to get unlimited 4¢ Prints from York Photo using the code GET4 at checkout. If you’re a new customer, you can sign up here and get your first 40 prints free.

I’d love your tips on being a better memory keeper! Hit me with ’em in comments.

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  1. Amy V says:

    I prefer not to print many photos. We have a couple 8×10 and 8×12 frames. We take photos for all the grandparent b-days and send them prints (everyone gets a present for anyone’s b-day). We make extra prints for our frames at that time.

    For keeping our memories, I make a yearly photobook through Blurb that we purchase extra copies of for family members. Instead of having random photos in shoeboxes, we have book we can look at and a file we can look at on the computer. It’s efficient and organized. We can easily get replacement copies in an emergency.

    I use Lightroom to organize my photos and do most of the editing. When I sort through my photos, I make a collection with the best for the photobook.

  2. HopefulLeigh says:

    I’m usually a couple of years behind on scrapbooking but I do try to order pictures every few months. I was actually going to pull everything out this weekend and work on the end of 2010 but realized I’m out of scrapbook glue. I’m also considering putting together some photo books through Snapfish or Shutterfly for a few different things. I like handwriting captions and being able to include memorabilia in my scrapbook but there are some trips or occasions that don’t require that.

    • Anne says:

      Oh, I hate it when something small and silly hangs me up like that! Better luck next time…when you’re freshly stocked on scrapbook glue. 🙂

  3. Tina B says:

    Your goal inspired me to do the same – make a goal to print pictures at least quarterly. I tend to post pics on FB or to send some through email, but my mom (in her 80’s) doesn’t even have a computer so she never sees my pics that the rest of the family does. So, in addition to printing some of my fav’s to keep, I print extras to send to her so she can keep up with her youngest 1100 miles away. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Elizabeth Kane says:

    That first photo is beautiful – candid and spontaneous. And your son’s photo is great too. Gorgeous eyes!

    I have so many photos to go through from the past year. I’m better about taking pictures than I used to be, but framing or sending them? Not so much. One of my goals this year is to cover our bare walls with some prints and photos. I love the idea of getting a few of my favorite pictures made into a canvas printing. Thanks for the link, Anne!

  5. Shana Norris says:

    I’m semi-good at transferring my photos from my cameras (DSLR and iPhone) to my computer, and keeping them very well-organized there. But from there on, I have trouble settling on what to do with them.

    Every year, for each of my youngest children (ages 6&8) I print an annual photo album using Shutterfly. The albums often push 100 pages.

    I’m also doing a 365 Project this year. Each day’s photo goes into the project photo book, so at the end of the year, I’ll have a photo from each day of 2013 in the book.

    That’s pretty much it. Trying to pick a photo to make use of the canvas deal, Anne. I’m such an indecisive person: so hard to settle on ONE.

    Looking forward to seeing what ideas this comment thread generates!

    • Anne says:

      I love the idea of doing an annual book! And having one for your 365 Project is (obviously) perfect. And I would imagine that knowing you’ll print all your photos in a book at the end of the project is a great accountability tool.

      I’m so with you: I’m horrible at choosing The One Thing. Good luck deciding. 🙂

  6. Meg Evans says:

    I have a similar goal for this year. I used to be an active scrapbooker, but in the last couple of years, I have gotten lax about ordering prints. I have used Snapfish for years–for film developing, and the thing I always loved about that was that Snapfish would scan the pictures before sending out the prints. I could see what I had taken before the prints got to me, and now I have a digital copy stored in their cloud.

    Every year at Christmas, I make a calendar for my Dad’s gift. That way he gets a useful gift that has pictures from the past year. I have also ordered picture books to send my great-grandfather as a Christmas gift. Snapfish again.

    For years after we moved into this house, I was afraid to personalize our walls by putting up pictures. I guess those real estate shows really did a number on me. Only in the last couple of years have I gotten over my fear of nail holes and mismatched frames, and now we have several walls in the house with family pictures.

    I love the canvases you’ve ordered. That is a nice look–and it’s different from a frame. Maybe I’ll mix in a canvas or two next time I reconfigure a family wall!

    • Anne says:

      “For years after we moved into this house, I was afraid to personalize our walls by putting up pictures. I guess those real estate shows really did a number on me.”

      Ha! I get that. 🙂

  7. Anne says:

    “For years after we moved into this house, I was afraid to personalize our walls by putting up pictures. I guess those real estate shows really did a number on me.”

    Ha! I get that. 🙂

  8. Dorothy says:

    My oldest daughter’s wedding photo will now be a lovely Mother’s Day gift to each of her Grandmothers, thanks to your link to Canvas People. The unexpected BONUS: EVERY COPY is FREE, just pay shipping per item!
    I use Winkflash (clunky website, but better book prices) and work on my photo books all year long so they’ll be ready for the big flat rate book sale right after Christmas. I get the largest book they offer for about $50 instead of $150 and it covers a year in the life of my family. I’m still trying to scrapbook the years before digital AND finish up the traditional scrapbooks for the last 2 of my 9 children. When they graduate high school, I’m done. They keep their own photo books from then on, or not. If I didn’t use Winkflash, I’d probably never have any recent photos to look at.
    I also use Shutterfly (easiest website to use and best quality but pricier) and Snapfish (fairly easy to use and good quality, middle of the road prices) and just shop the sales on all of them. Sometimes I’ll make smaller “event” books too.
    Last year my mom scanned ALL 1000ish of my Dad’s marvelous nature slides and put them on a flash drive. I uploaded them to Shutterfly and made him a coffee table book with 300+ of them. It was a fabulous Christmas gift. I think I won “Daughter of the Year” award. 🙂
    Thanks again for the link.

    • Anne says:

      I love the idea of working on big annual books all through the year, but I’ve never done it. Baby steps! I’ll get there, I hope. Because paging through a book sounds so much more enjoyable than flipping through stacks and boxes of photos.

      That coffee table book of your Dad’s nature slides sounds amazing Daughter of the Year, for sure. 🙂

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve been doing photobooks for a while now. I love them! My parents have THOUSANDS of photos and negatives sitting jumbled in boxes, and tens of thousands of photos on their computers, with nary an album to speak of. I don’t ever want to get that behind. My only problem right now is a super clunky computer that can’t process photo files without nearly locking up. That should be fixed this weekend, though… my new computer is here and awaiting my husband to set it up!

    Making albums is so worth it. The few books I’ve made get pored over by my siblings. Also, I made a baby book of my daughter’s first few months, and it was her FAVORITE book for MONTHS. Like, I was sick to death of it, she wanted me to read it to her so often. 🙂 I’ve been meaning to do albums for my nieces and nephews, too. It’s fun for them to look at now, it’s a good keepsake, and as my family is scattered all over the world, it is a great way to familiarize babies with the faces of relatives they don’t see very often.

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