With Love, From Us
I try to be very cognizant of when and where and how long I use my phone around my children; the same could be said about my large DSLR camera and to a degree that kind of mental awareness is effective. I want to be living the moment, allowing my memories to absorb those priceless moments and all of the senses included. I don’t need photographs to remind me the way the air smelled once the rains ceased and how the grass felt between my toes on the lawn around my childhood home. A picture can’t capture the stories we told while racing around capturing lightning bugs in the evenings while eating the mint that grew wild down by the back deck.
The beautiful thing that a photograph does capture is the way the person behind the lens felt when they squeezed the shutter and how important that moment was to them. I have thousands of photographs of my children, and I became really passionate about how I wanted to preserve not only my memories of our lives during this precious time, but also their relationships with each other and with us, the way their personalities shine. We’ve been able to take some seriously special trips as a family the last few years, and it feels like not only my duty to make sure I document those experiences, but mostly my privilege. The one criticism I hear from my family members and of myself is those photos tend to stay locked in an intangible state on my hard drive or emblazoned on social media. For the longest time, turing these kinds of memories into gifts for the people we love deeply became such a time consuming, daunting task, and for me incredibly exhausting. However with Shutterfly’s wide range of personalized photo gifts and interface that is easy to understand and use, I’ve found a way create beautiful gifts for our family members while also including some of the best photos I have of our children within those items.
Gifting is a stressful thing for me. Especially when it comes to holidays, I find that half of my energy is spent pining over what to do for these wonderful family members in our lives. For Father’s Day this year, I uploaded a set of some of my favorite moments captured this spring and during a very special trip to Disney World with Justin’s parents, and used them to make personal mementos for Justin, my father-in-law, and my father who lives pretty far away from us. Justin is always nagging at me to print photos, so encasing a few of my favorites into a beautiful wooden frame was a great option. I made a travel tumbler for my father-in-law, as he is often driving for work and he loves coffee, and I was able to customize and personalize a framed photo of all of the kids for my dad. I have never had an easy time picking out Father’s Day gifts, but this was a creative and thoughtful way to put together meaningful tokens of our love and appreciation for the men in our lives, and Shutterfly’s gallery of options proved to be inspirational, too.
I imagine the kids are as excited about giving these gifts as they were helping me create them and picking out their favorite photos for inclusion, too. The spirit of gifting and showing our love and appreciation feels so much more genuine with a memento like these. Not only is it fun to be able to create things with the photos that I put my whole heart into taking, but sharing those memories with those we love the most is a lot of fun, and simple enough to execute without dedicating an entire evening to it. I’m certain I won’t be sorry I have so many photographs of our lives, but it definitely feels like I’m making the most out of that hobby by sharing the memories within some truly precious & personal gifts.
This post is sponsored by Shutterfly. Celebrate dad this Father’s Day with the perfect customizable photo gift made with Shutterfly.