Monday, May 26, 2008

Family Photographer

It's a big job to rear a family.

Whether you're the parent of one or twenty-one (and anything in between), it's a constant challenge to keep the group cohesive.

While there are many ways to encourage solidarity, allow me to suggest the power of sharing family photos as a possible *gluestick.*

Metaphorically speaking :)

From birthdays to graduation, from weddings to reunions, many of us take pictures.

But what do you do with them?

One of my muse's, Donna at Quiet Life, is quite the photographer. Not only does she share her knowledge with us on her own blog, she's also a contributing writer at the famous site of the Pioneer Woman. I've known her since college when she was head photographer of the college yearbook. Now she's branching out into the bigger world of photographing others and improving her skills by taking workshops. Recently she shared pictures from her local farmers' market. Even now she's thinking ahead and taking a family photo for the Christmas card!

But back to the gluestick.

Here's another photo of our family photographer who received her first camera at age seven.

Self-taught my mother has photographed the family as long as I can remember.

There a funny series of us in front of a camera on a tripod, timer set for the precise moment of portraiture :)

Though what I really want to mention is the way she shares her photos.

They are all
organized and
ready for viewing in albums.

That is a monumental feat.

Worthy of commendation!

I know that too well because most of mine are still sitting in boxes in the basement.

But, no, she doesnt stop with editing, printing, and cataloging.

Sharing is the key.

She makes a family birthday calendar for each of us (six children with spouses and 29 grands!) and gives it at Christmastime.

My father contributes by laminating, collating, and binding.

 At this moment I can glance up at my calendar flipped to May and be reminded that MargaretAnn and James have birthdays this month.

Then she creates her own greeting cards, artistically using her archive of thousands of images. Inside the card you're likely to find a CD containing lots of pictures of yourself with family.

Furthermore, there's an entire hallway of family photos and a family website.

So, when you visit home, there's no question about the roots of the family tree.

Thankfully, all my daughters love taking pictures, too!

I'm looking forward to their glue.


  1. Hi, Dana, just wanted to stop in and let you know I am still reading...most of the time. Our family glue and chief photo-taker, my mom, has had a brain aneurysm and I have been busy going back and forth from Lexington. We still aren't sure of her future.

    When she saw my graduating nephew, who she made a photo scrapbook for this year, she said, "hurry take his picture," even though much of what she says in incomprehensible. We all got a big kick out of that. Her photo taking connections appear to be intact.

  2. I am sad because we missed the photo op at ds#4's graduation. He went out one door, and we went out another. Graduation was held in a new place, and we didn't connect. When we finally did find him, he'd already turned in his gown. We're having to settle with a pic at the reception sans gown. At least we remembered the camera!

    I was surprised last January that "gluestick" grandmother had not brought her camera to dd's wedding.

  3. Well, I was wondering about Logos's grad date and whether you had one *walking* ;)

    I actually appreciate the school hiring a photographer, so I can sit back and enjoy the show. And *buy* only if I want to.

    So, who was the speaker?

    Bernie Marcus's address to the Lovett crowd was well done. fitting in with Magistramater's criteria.

  4. Cindy, praying for you and your mom. These are trying times.

  5. Logos has the Chairman of the Board speak. He was also parent to one of the graduates, and a retired navy officer.

  6. What a great post, Dana.

    I will try to be better at sharing the family photos I take. My sister in law has been doing this for years. We often get an envelope of pictures and she makes a calendar too. (But that calendar is just for her family)

    I am working at getting pictures in frames.

    Your mom is amazing.

  7. Stay tuned!

    I took a picture of one wall, which I will post later on this evening.

    But just imagine walking through a short hallway with this many photos.

    FYI The pictures are *framed* with those inexpense acrylic box frames.

    Super easy!

  8. My mother is the family's archivist -- she has an album that she's been putting together for me over the years, and just this past Christmas she gave each of the children a small album so that when she mails pix to them they have a safe place to put them.

    It's wonderful because not only am I not a photographer (it never even occurs to me to take pictures of the family doing anything) but when we do get pictures we never do much of anything with them.

    (And you know Donna in real life!?! See, my suspicion is correct -- you really do know everyone.)

  9. I read this when you posted it but am only now commenting...

    What an amazing historian of a mother! What a lady and inspiration!