Do you have photos stored in boxes, on your phone, and on your computer? And do you keep telling yourself, “I need to put these in albums one of these days?”

Well, hold your horses, ‘cause I’ve got a story to share . . . 

My mother was meticulous about putting photos in albums. She never threw any away. On the back of each photo, she would write the names of the people pictured so that my sister and I would know who everyone was when Mom was no longer around to tell us.

Both my mother and sister have passed away now, and my mom’s boxes of photo albums are in my shed, next to a couple boxes of my own photos. My daughter has already cherry-picked the few pictures she wants (and created this sweet photo album I’m holding in the picture), but the rest are collecting dust.

So, I’m no longer a fan of photo albums.

A picture is worth a thousand words

 When it comes to family photos I beg to differ.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Many of the photos my mom preserved are wonderful to look at. But they’d be so much more meaningful if I knew the real stories behind them. 

And I don’t mean the surface stories. Such as, who’s in the photos, where they were taken, what everyone wore, or ate for dinner that night.

I mean the deeper stories about why each photo is significant. What it represented for my mom, how her life was influenced by the situation and the people in the picture, and what thoughts and feelings would come up for her as she looked at it.

My hope is that you will write the one thousand words your pictures are worth.

Because one day someone else is going to look at those pictures you spent so much time organizing neatly into albums, and they will glean very little meaning from them.

UNLESS . . . 

 You take the time to share the stories.

You can bring your pictures to life for yourself and for generations to come if you take the time to explore and write down why they’re important to you. 

Start small. Pick three, and write the story behind those. Heck, just pick one to get started.

But write the deeper story behind the picture. Give your readers a behind-the-scenes look.