When I was a child I loved sitting with my mom or my grandma and going through family photo albums. There was a great feeling of connection and wonder about the people in the photo albums.
Of course, there were the books devoted to our lives but what always interested me more were the older albums full of people who I had never met, but made up a part of who I was, because of the role they had played in my parents or grandparents lives. Photos and stories of a time before I was born allowed my imagination to travel in time and to discover more about my family and my community. Photos of my parents as children and young adults encouraged me to look at the bigger picture of life.
Unfortunately my memories of the stories told to me didn't last and there was no documentation, stories or names attached to the photos and now while they can be used to fuel the imagination the reality of who these people were in their lives has diminished.
This makes me wonder about two things. If you aren't making photobooks (from digital copies of your photos) or photo albums (scrapbooking) then aren't you missing a great way to spend time with people you love?
The second thing is if you only have metadata attached to your photos aren't you losing some of your family history? I often hear that photos should be digital for the next generation, and I don't disagree, but I wonder if that is the backup solution and if printed photobooks filled with photos of people, event, places, and keepsakes along with the stories and genealogy is truly what we should be aiming for when we curate our photo collections. Or maybe there is a better way?