Storytelling through Photos

Stories and Photos

Rainbow Cake-Birthday Photos


Ever since I can remember, photographs have been a source of joy for me.

I am now a grandmother and every time, I come across a box of photos that are stored away, I know that there will a ton of vignettes running through my brain like an old movie reel from the 50’s.

As a young girl, a camera was never far away from my hand. Kodak Brownie cameras were very popular when I was a child and my father made sure that I had one. He was always taking snapshots in Black and White and we were always facing the sun which made us squint something fierce in those days. Flash was not used often by my dad, but my second Brownie camera had a flash attached to it that used bulbs that would explode into a melted hot mess after a flash photo. They were inconvenient and somewhat expensive.


Film was another story. You never knew whether your photo was a keeper until you developed it at the drugstore, it took a few days for that process. Kodak did most of the developing in those days, and it was up to them to decide whether to print a photo or not depending upon its quality. If it printed, you got charged, if not you received a negative to decide if in fact you still wanted to print it or not. Saving negatives became a chore, but you did it because if your wanted duplicates you needed the negative to get them.

With all of the rigmarole of photo taking came another rigmarole of storing and sharing photos. Albums were tedious, but kept us busy on a snowy weekend along with the corner stickers that held the photos in place and keeping the stories of the photos updated and chronological. I loved it when the clear page albums came along and then the ones that were archival quality made it possible to store photos without losing their quality.

A beautiful Anniversary dessert!

A beautiful Anniversary dessert!

The life of the family photographer was tedious but very rewarding and the stories that went along with the photos could keep me enveloped for hours at a time, in past vacations, family gatherings, and visits with relatives that were no longer around.  I relished and cherished these moments.

Along with the photographic times I have changed and absolutely love the fact that I can snap a photo anytime. It is as easy as breathing and as natural for me at this point in my life. A camera be it my phone or my DSLR is always at my side!

"From Our House to Your House!"

“From Our House to Your House!”

Thank goodness, I no longer have to go to the drugstore to develop my pictures. I download them to my computer and sometimes I make copies for my walls but most times not. I have CD’s full of photos along with digital cards, that I save as back ups and my photos are backed up to Carbonite to avoid a loss that would be tragic. Sometimes I feel that losing a picture is like losing a part of my history…it is something to grieve if you lose your precious photos.

Photos stir memories and memories are so important. Photos tell stories and stories are so important too.

Recently, Shutterfly contacted me to share this sad news about photos, memories and millennials.

Millennial Memories at Risk

Millennials are most at risk for losing memories, taking more photos than any other generation. Though millennials snap more than 100 photos each month on average, they’re unlikely to have looked at an old photo in the past month.


“Photos can be effective memory cues, but they only work if you revisit them. Shutterfly’s research shows that people are taking huge amounts of photos but our revisiting behavior isn’t scaling with our snapping behavior,” said Dr. Linda Henkel, a professor and cognitive psychologist at Fairfield University. “My earlier research showed that the act of taking photos actually makes us remember the moment less if we don’t take another glance at the picture. To truly keep a memory alive, revisiting the photo is as important as taking it.”

Both of these findings made me sick. I literally stopped and reread them to make sure I understood these findings correctly.

ice cream cone

If this information is true, it makes me sad that with all our technology and photo taking we are losing the ability to keep our memories alive if we don’t look at the photos we take after we snap them.

To keep our memories alive we must revisit our photos.

Does that mean, that we should not be always snapping but we should take a break and be present fully, without a camera?

I think so!

So there is a balance to maintain here.

I am still going to take pictures as it is something that I love. But each picture will have more importance to me. It will have a memory and a story.

That is my resolution for this year 2015…photo taking this year will be more discerning for me.

In that effort, I will need some help and I think I will turn to Shutterfly to help me with this goal.

“Storytelling and shared connections are part of Shutterfly’s DNA and giving consumers simple and intuitive ways to access, share, and celebrate their memories is the guiding principle in everything we do. Our goal is for the technology to make it easier to archive and share photos so that users can spend more time telling their stories.”



I am grateful to Shutterfly for bringing this information to my attention. I am committed to memory making and sharing as well as storytelling on my blog where I try to use my own photos whenever I can.

I have chosen a few of my favorite food photos that tell stories for me of Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, summer ice cream, and farm stand glory!

Please join me in the year of making memories and storytelling. You do not have to be a writer to tell a story when you have  great photos.

Thank you Shutterfly!

this post was not sponsored or compensated in any way

via Shutterfly Research Reveals Americans Are Taking More Photos but Failing to Share Memories (NASDAQ:SFLY).