Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Musings on Photo Storage

I've been doing some pondering about photo albums lately because Eric and I are thinking about manufacturing them. Its an odd thing to realize that you've got lots of opinions about something so ordinary, but there it is.

I've got a vast collection of photo albums that I've been accumulating since high school. Sadly they're all in storage in Minnesota at present, but I started mulling them over in my mind. Of course, my taste has changed noticeably since I was a lass of fifteen. When I first started buying and filling albums, it was important to me that they were all the same size and color family.

But, over time I've become more and more interested in the personal and handmade. Its just so much more interesting. Why have a home that looks like it came from the Pottery Barn catalog? Perfection is antiseptic and unachievable and more than all of that, it is lifeless. Real life is not perfect, and its a lot more interesting because of that.

I've also been doing a lot of reading about marketing and brand development. (Can you see this train coming down the tracks?) This desire for something personal and unique is part of a much larger market trend. In a world democratized by the internet, where globalization means that every Old Navy store sells identical items to millions of consumers, people want something that is special and just for them. Look no further than the Etsy phenomenon for evidence of this.

Which brings me back to my little photo albums. When I put together an album these days, (with help from Snapfish, home of the cheapest prints you'll find anywhere) I want it to help me tell the story of the thing I am documenting. So when I found these simple albums at Target on super sale, I decided to take them home and personalize them. Here are the results.

The clouds were cut from the endless stream of receipts/coupons(which of course I cannot read and therefore cannot distinguish) I receive as I go about my business in Shenzhen. The balloon is a scrap of wrapping paper and the basket is a tiny slice of a doily. The glitter turned out a bit wonky, but all in all I think it's a pretty charming first draft.

I'm really pleased with this one. The swans were cut from the same receipts (or are they coupons?) and were given mother of pearl button eyes. A blue sequin nestles inside of that and then a grey rhinestone nestles inside of that. The effect is more subtle than it might sound.

I'd love to know what you all do with your photos. I know that in this age of digital cameras a lot of folks never even print them. What about photo sharing sites like Flickr or Picasa? How do you feel when you look back at albums you made in the past? Do you prefer massive albums or brag books? Miss B Designs needs to know!


shannon said...

I love the swans. I tend to love huge plain photo albums.

Miss B said...

And let your pictures do the talking, right? I agree, there is something to be said for understatement as well. I did our wedding album with 25 8x10 full page black and white and color photos and it was just right.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Love your photos, musings, blog & etsy shop!
Thanks for calling me a "flickr favorite" otherwise I might never have found you!
These albums are great!

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