Say Cheese!

Camera, Photo Album

Pictures are priceless. One photo can bring a smile, a tear, or sometimes both. Pictures are proof of the past. Pictures confirm our existence in this world.

So, why do we let them sit on our computer, tablet, or cell phone for months or years at time? What happened to the days of the photo album or photo frame? And worse, why do so many of us refuse to take them?

Anyone who knows me knows that I love photos! I have a digital frame of 200+ pictures, countless framed photos on the walls and flat surfaces, and digitally produced photo albums on display in my home. However, even I have faltered in my display of memories. This was evident to me as I downloaded 632 pictures from my camera phone to my computer last night. And the only reason that I did was because I need to use my students’ pictures for an end-of-the-year project. I gasped when I realized that the range of photos started in November 2014! As a child, I used to tease my mom about waiting six months to develop film. Well, it looks like I followed in her footsteps.

Looking through the personal and teaching photos made me smile. Although, I had previously posted some of them on my personal social media sites, there were many that I hadn’t seen in awhile. The pictures that stood out to me the most were the random close-ups of my young nieces and nephews or the ones that people didn’t pose for. Those really capture life’s simple moments.

Photo albums are underrated. People forget how much joy it can bring. It’s a quick trip down memory lane in one single sitting. Since the existence of photo storage sites, digitally produced albums have replaced the older sticky back or slide the photo in the plastic sleeve ones. Personally, I think that the new method takes more time, but the outcome is much better. I have been able to print multiple copies of the same album and even better, have a digital copy on hand, incase mine gets ruined or lost. Honestly, I have seriously fallen behind in that area too! My son finished playing college football in 2012 and I have yet to finish that football season album. It’s on my Summer To Do List (again). It’s first on the list this summer, so I expect results.

Have you ever looked through photos and then wondered, Where is ___? Everyone knows that one person who hates taking pictures. Some popular excuses are: I’m too big/fat. I don’t like my hair today. I’m not wearing make-up. I feel gross. I don’t like the way that I look in pictures. The last one is the really the worst excuse. It reminds me of something that I read: There are no bad pictures. That’s just how your face looks sometimes. So true! Whether we like it or not, EVERY picture represents how we look at some point in time. Sometimes (or all of the time), we have double chins, stomach rolls, extra arm or inner thigh flab, tweaked necks, and distorted fingers or toes. Embrace it people!

In the end, photographs represent more than the image on the paper or screen. Pictures are proof. Proof that we enjoyed life. Proof that we spent time with family and friends. Proof that we meant something to someone. Let’s face it; we only take pictures of people, things, or events that we want to remember. Pictures are also memories. Memories of an unforgettable event. Memories of a random moment. Memories of growing up. Memories of a special person. Memories of your life.

Embrace your look. Embrace your life. Say CHEESE to the future generations.


  1. I’m so glad you continued taking pictures. People didn’t understand why I took so many pictures but it’s because of memories, as you said. Well done.

  2. Wow, you described me, as the person who doesn’t like their picture taken and stated all the reasons why. Hopefully what you have said (which is so true) will make me feel differently when someone wants to take my picture! Well written Diane…

  3. Yes, take the picture! I’m glad that you were able to see a different perspective.

  4. I have fallen in the same trap. 2100 pictures since 2012 were just downloaded from my phone and I haven’t made an album in years. I do have to say those on my summer to do list…NEXT year!!

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