shoe box prints and the evolution of a camera

By Moriah on April 20th, 2015

I don’t know about you, but for me, making memory books or scrapbooks for my kids has totally gone by the wayside. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that. Plus it wasn’t something I really ever loved. And tends to be super expensive.

Whatever. So a couple of weeks ago I was looking for a picture of me and some cousins when we were little, and I have no idea where I (mis)placed that photo. I looked in every place I could think of for random photos and couldn’t find it. I did, however, find lots of hilarious pictures I had completely forgotten about. I threw out the ones we definitely do not need to keep and stacked the rest neatly in some boxes and returned them to the shelf. And I realized, that is the fun part. Having a shoe box of old photos to sort through and laugh over on a rainy day.

THAT’S what I want to do for my kids.

I have thousands and thousands of photos of my kids. (Of course it was different for me, because growing up film was expensive and developing them added up.) Now in our digital age we have much better options – but perhaps a downside is the ridiculous amount of pictures we take. I decided to begin sorting through the months and years, printing out the best ones of each child, and start each of them a shoe box full of their baby and childhood photos.

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Luckily I had already done highlight photos for 2011 (the year Ethan was born) for the grandparents and they were already uploaded to snapfish.  I started there. I ordered probably about 450 prints, about 3/4 were from that year. I went the cheap route since these are FOR THE KIDS. Normally I use a pro lab for prints. Totally different for this case. ;)

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One thing I noticed is the evolution of my camera(s). I have some prints from when Drew and Madeline were babies and we still had a film camera that, again, you couldn’t see the photos until you picked them up. And then enter the first digital cameras (I started with a point n shoot), and then later to my first dSLR. I think it was a nikon D3000 or something like that. The most noticeable difference was clearly I wasn’t controlling any settings like I should have been, and I definitely wasn’t adjusting any white balance. There are some good ones but many many too-dark or orangey ones. It just makes me laugh now.

And then you can tell when I upgraded to the canon 60D that I had for a while. I stopped using flash and started poking around at settings and composition and all of those things. Many still weren’t in crisp focus or the lighting wasn’t good enough for the shutter speed to freeze the motion in the frame. Still, lots of keepers. It was a good camera while it lasted.

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(But still, if your main subject isn’t in focus, it’s probably not a good photo.)

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With my personal preference to not use flash, even that camera started to have limitations.  And if I was going to do portraits for other people and they pay me for my work, a full frame body was an obvious choice even though the markiii is a monster of a camera.  I can shoot in a pretty dark room and not have too much problem with grain.  (These ones I took of Arianna were in my bedroom with half of the curtains closed.)

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(Obviously the lens has a lot to do with how low your aperture can go, but it’s also fun to be able to blur things on purpose and highlight things that may not have been the most obvious choice.)

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When they first came in the mail, of course all five of them were so excited and couldn’t wait to see their own stack.  I had to sort all the prints, divide the doubles and triples, and then make sure all the hands were clean before I let them have at it.  It was a really fun moment.

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I love that they will each have their own memories to take. (And I have my copies, too).

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Until I get 5 boxes, for now they are going to live in the memory boxes they already have, full of hospital papers, baby shoes, baptism records and the like.  It’s a start!  And so excited to begin.

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It’s the gift that will keep on giving. Love.

(set taken 50mm 1.2 between 2.2 and 3.5 and around ISO3200-4000)

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