By Ronnie Mason
Back when I was pregnant with Pete, and I was working out my memory keeping framework, I had a few spare 6x4 photo albums by Kikki K lying around which I'd purchased some time prior to giving birth to Angus. They were good quality, classic albums, and I felt it would be a waste to not actually do something with them....
This was back in the day before Instagram or Pinterest (hard to imagine, right?), which meant that I couldn't just open up my browser and be instantly inundated with ideas. After much scheming and plotting in between feeds, nap times, and changing diapers, I decided that it would be fun to turn the 6x4 albums into a small 'brag book' for each of the boys, filled with photos from their first year.
Seeing as I had already committed to making a baby book, a first year journal, and a first year photo book for each of the boys (more about all that in a future post), the idea behind a first year brag book was to do something as simple as can be. To that effect, I chose 36 of my favourite photos from Angus' first year, printed them out on my Canon Pixma, slipped them into the album in chronological order, and considered it done. No captioning, no embellishments, no over-complicating things.
The only other thing I had to do was to choose a photo for the album cover. Because I knew I'd be doing one for Pete and any other children we might have, I decided to convert my chosen photo to black and white so that together, the brag books would look like a set. The black and white also adds to that classic feeling.
Despite how simple these first year brag books are, they are definitely one of the best memory keeping decisions I've made because the boys love them. They get the brag books out from their memory boxes whenever they want, and they adore flipping through their own and each other's.
This, I believe, is a big part of what memory keeping is all about.
Creating keepsakes that are held, touched, cherished, and loved.
Have you done anything similar for yourself or your family?
A graphic designer by trade, Ronnie's first loves are writing, photography and memory keeping. She lives in Sydney with her husband, Rick, and four of our five little boys. You can find Ronnie over at her personal blog, The Shoemaker's Daughter, a memoir named after her mother, and she is also the main author of the official LIFE:CAPTURED Inc blog - the place where you can find anything you need relating to photography, photo archiving and organising and memory keeping in general.