Photos As Storytellers and a shutterfly giveaway

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If you remember this post I wrote about Life With 3, and how our family photos this year were reflective of how our lives have changed since Hayden was born, you know how important family photos are to me.  And I think you can also get the sense that photos have the ability to conjure up lots and lots of memories and feelings for me.  I know I’m not alone here; photos are modern storytelling vessels, and I think they have become even more important in this day and age of texting and tweeting and Facebook.  I can see snippets of my friends and family all year through these social media channels, but once I see their family card each December, often along with a note or a short letter, do I get a real sense of how they are doing.  I do not lie when I say I have a drawer filled with every single family Christmas photo we have received for the last 7 years, that’s how much I love them.  I should take a picture of it to show you all, but then you might think I’m nuts, or a hoarder :)

It’s November 30th and I’ll admit I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing with our Christmas cards this year; combine birth announcement with holiday card, do both separately, I don’t know??  But I do know that I’ll be whipping up a couple of photo books of this past year since it was a such a special one.  In addition to all the candids we took, we took 2 family photo sessions and I want to organize them all in one place to tell a story of 2012, Howe style.  I attended a Shutterfly dinner the other night and got to take a peek at all the great ways I can assemble books and gifts for the grandparents and all the other people in my life that a gift of a candle just won’t do.  We also learned about their new Family Photo Day site which has lots of tips on taking great family photos, assembling cards and gift books.  I spent the last 20 minutes just watching the videos on the site.

Perhaps you haven’t been able to get coordinating outfits together this year for the “perfect” family photo, perhaps your 5 year old is in a horrible anti-picture phase and will shriek in horror at the thought of standing next to big sister for 2 seconds (this is hypothetical of course, I’m not speaking from experience at all).  But if you read that post I wrote a few weeks back, you’ll recall that I’ve finally started to let go of the idea of “perfect” and on board with just showing reality.  That’s what makes your family special and unique.  So get out the camera, go through the archives of photos this year, and put together something special that shows all facets of your life, the sweet ones, the messy ones and all those in between.  It may not reflect perfection, but it will reflect love, that is for sure.  A card, a family photo book that maybe even you just keep special for your immediate family.  I promise in 20 years you won’t regret not spending a fortune on fancy matching outfits, but you will regret not having anything.

Shutterfly wants to help you put together something this holiday season and is generously offering a $50 gift credit to one lucky reader.  I will announce the winner next week, with plenty of time to still put something together and receive in time for the holidays.
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Andrea is the founder of For The Love Of, a lifestyle blog dedicated to approachable, modern living. She writes about style, her love of DIY, and living a healthier life through wholesome, nutritious cooking. She is also a regular contributor at Babble. Get in touch: Facebook, Twitter You can find Andrea on Instagram @andreavhowe and @gwynethmademedoit

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