“Creative ways to display your images at home” is was what I was googling. I’m a photographer, I should know this right? Well yes, and I do know many of the traditional ways to display images…
On the wall.
In a photo album.
A memory box even.
But I think this is the first time I came across displaying printed photos in a “bowl”. I thought to myself, “Now this is different. This is clever”. (Thank you to Style Me Pretty for this idea.)
Ok now fast forward a couple months…. I happen to be on the phone with my sweet southern friend, Richan, and we got to talkin’ about what to do with old family photos.
It was during COVID, she’d been decorating at home and she got to tellin’ me, “Monica, my neighbor gave me the best idea…just throw ‘em in a basket”.
“Ha!” I said, “that reminds me of this photo bowl idea I found online a while back. So how did you do it?”
She went through and gathered the photos that spoke out most to her from all different periods of her life. Going back to BW photos of her parents — to when she got married — and all through when the kids were growing up. There they sat in a stylish wicker basket in her family room so anyone that came over could look through them as opposed to them sitting in boxes and collecting dust in the closet. She even added old Christmas cards and letters, which I thought was a brilliant idea.
So Richan’s daughter Lauren, who recently got married, ended up coming for a visit — she doesn’t come over often since she lives a few states over. And of course Lauren stumbles up on this basket of old family photos.
Curiously, she grabs a stack from the basket and starts flipping through them. Not far in she realizes here are some photographs she’s never seen. “Can I have this picture mom? I just realized I don’t have a lot of photos from this time period.” She was looking at photographs with her school mates from middle school.
“Look at these! You’ve never seen these before,” Lauren turned and said to her husband.
Of course her mom agreed and separates out the images for copying later.
She continued flipping through, print by print, laughing and reminiscing with her mom and she comes across a couple of photos of her newly wed parents on a trip somewhere.
Another one to add to the stack of copies, Lauren definitely wanted to frame photos of when her parents where younger for display in her own home.
There was one photograph of her mom standing in a garden by herself followed by another photograph of her dad in a garden by himself that Lauren was wondering about. Her mom explained that they had to take a photo of each other because there wasn’t anyone to take one of the two of them together!
How sweet is that.
Richan and her daughter continued to reminisce and share details about family history. I was eager to hear more. “So, what else did she find?”
She did find a BW photo of their Grandma Judy when she was a baby.
“Oh my gosh, Baby Marley looks just Grandma when she was a baby!” Lauren says.
So Grandma Judy is GREAT Grandma Judy to Baby Marley which puts 4 generations between the two of them.
It was just so touching to hear about how that basket of photos led to so many great conversations and also discoveries about family resemblances.
She even found some mischievous childhood photos of her brother in there who’s wedding was coming up, so of course she was definitely making copies of those for his wedding weekend.
Guaranteeing we have experiences like these is going to be harder and harder as printing our everyday snapshots has become optional. It takes more effort these days to get in the habit of printing and sticking with it.
But digital versions of our every day memories are just so fragile and can easily not make it to when your children are in their 30’s.
You can keep it really simple. Don’t overthink it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just set yourself a reminder every month and get into the habit of sending the 10, 15, or 20 images that speak to you over to your favorite photo lab.
Don’t worry if you don’t print every image you love…it’s not about that. Remember you are not handing your child a box of 100,000 images. There is no wrong way to do this.
Even if you know you are omitting some moments you love, having any images to share with your children when they’re older is better than having none.
In 20-30 years, you will be thankful you took the time to do this, I promise.
And if you are already printing, then kudos to you! You are doing awesome and on the right track, and now hopefully have a new idea for displaying your own collection of prints.
Huge thanks to my friend Richan for allowing me to share your story and family photos <3.