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Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Family Photo Project (Unending!)

About 5 years ago, I was the beneficiary of lots of boxes of family pictures. When I added my own photos, the result was - literally - thousands of photos spanning 6 generations. And thus began my obsession: I would make a true "family story" and keep it under 150 pictures. Looking back, I would take back that decision - in a flash.

Step #1 - Sitting at the kitchen with boxes
Visualize a rainy Spring afternoon  in my kitchen, by the window, rain outside, with mountains of mixed up photos (some strangers!) around me. My husband, J. is in Tax and lives at the office from February through April. Our daughter, M, is away at school. So it's my pup, Harry, and me. As usual.

Step #2 - Fast forward two years
The pictures have been separated into Trash and Keepers. When I look at the hundreds of photos remaining, I decide to hide them in a dark closet again. It's overwhelming.

Step #3 - End of year three
My husband, J, found the boxes and offered to help. We spent a whole day sorting them by person. I bought a few cute storage boxes at TJ Maxx and put them on my home office book shelves. It beats the dark closet but they are daily reminders of my dithering and procrastination. Sigh.

Step #4 - Envelopes!
So now I have about 400 pics as "finalists" in labeled envelopes. Wow! I fool myself into thinking that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But the idea of finding a logical sequence is overwhelming. Once again, the boxes go back on the bookshelf (now in the envelopes).

Step #5 - Help from Groupon!
One day, I see an offer from They'll make a great CD (digital) "book" from the pictures I send them. I sign up and pay for their service - so the project is finally "real." Only one problem: my arm won't reach out for the boxes of envelopes. Did I mention that I have come to hate this project?

Step #6 - End of May, 2012
I've sequenced and numbered all the pics I've chosen (about 150) and made divider pages to identify the separation of Generations. Can it be true that I'm ready?

I pack the pics very carefully and seal the container. Hubby takes it to UPS and it's gone. Gone. I'm panic-stricken as I see my little babies go out the door (some are 100 years old and can't be replaced).

Step #7 - Mid-June, 2012
The CD (with 12 copies for various family) and original pictures are back from BritePix. They've been very sweet and checked on lots of little things. But I'm afraid to open the box. No kidding. What it if's in the sequence? What if I've made mistakes? So I let it sit.

Step #7 - July 7, 2012
Happy Birthday to me! I finally open the box and slip the disc in the computer. It's a slide show. It's magnificent. Thank you so much BritePix. I show the CD to J and M - they love it. I send it to the relatives.

Step #8 - Now.
My aunt and uncle don't know how to open the CD and they live far away (Chicago and Florida).I am holding a knife to my throat, thinking about slitting it. Getting nearly 150 pics on a DVD made into an album is super-difficult and expensive. . It's not easy. In fact, I'm stuck again!!  

This is my Unending project. And my nightmare. Ideas anyone? I can't stand another year of it. I wish I could pay someone to figure it all out.

So the moral of the story is: run away from photo projects. All of them. What good can come of them?  

For now,