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Why you should turn your vacation photos into albums

Who doesn’t take pictures while on vacation? We want pictures of family and friends or we want to capture the beauty of the landscape we are in. Some are interested in the architecture; some are interested in the flowers or wildlife. Photography can have either a documentary value, or it can be a very personal interpretation of reality. A story can be told in a single photograph or in multiple photographs, often called a photo essay. More photographs may lead to a more complex story.

It is only so much one photograph can capture in the strict space of a frame. What really matters is what is in that frame and how those elements relate to each other. In the words of Stephen Shore, “the photograph has edges; the world does not”. A photographer can go back to the same spot several times, and every time will come home with different images. Every photographer will see the same thing differently because the “eye” becomes the “I”, as poet Paul Valery famously said it. The true power of a photographer consists in his/her ability to “see”. Light plays a key role in how we “see” things. In photography, the eyes replace the words, and light replaces the pen.

Next step is to define clearly what the subject is and what the story is all about. The story can be anything, people, things, light and shadow, shapes, places, an abstract idea (emotions…), a photographic technique, colors, textures, and more. More images grouped together may tell a more complex story, like, for example the story of a place, its people, their traditions, foods, etc. To do that easily, images can be grouped into albums.

Pictures of a past vacation that represent everything one saw on that trip, make sense to that person, but not to everybody else. If those images are separated into categories such as, pictures of gardens and flowers, pictures of people, architecture, or favorite sunsets, then they will make more sense. Better yet is to add small captions to indicate the location (if this is not a famous place) and other details related to that image. Whether you have visited a particular place or several places, categories with captions make it a lot easier.

The beauty of themed albums is that new photos can be added to them over the years. They are beautiful and easily understood by all. There are so many categories one can think of. The only limit is one’s imagination.

Themed albums are easy to organize, understand and make great conversation pieces! Give them a try!