I have always enjoyed taking lots of pictures.

LOTS.

Picture-taking was very different back in the day. Most of today’s youngsters will never experience old-timey photography (and by “old-timey” I guess I mean “middle-timey”: 1960s-1990’s), when we actually had to put a roll of film into the camera in order to take pictures. We had to look through a tiny viewfinder, with our eye up against the camera. We couldn’t see if our friends’ eyes were closed in the pictures or if we actually snapped at the exact moment our child ran through the frame rather than missing him entirely, until we took the film to the store (or sent it in) for developing. The ugly financial truth of being an avid photographer, amateur or professional, was that money had to be spent twice: the first time to buy the film and the second time to have it developed.

My sister took this picture years ago with an actual camera containing actual film. It’s fabulous. LOOK AT THOSE BOYS.

When the opportunity to take photographs with a digital camera (well before everyone had cameras on their phones) came along, I was thrilled. I could instantly see exactly how the picture looked, and there was no cost for developing anything; I only had to pay for what I wanted to get printed. Surely I’d take fewer pictures, right?

Wrong, of course. With digital photography came a whole slew of filters, upgrades, and apps to encourage us to take more pictures. It’s ridiculous, really…and totally amazing.

I know. This looks like a painting…but it’s an actual picture taken digitally with my iPhone. FOR REAL.

My big problem, now that I have tens of thousands of pictures in the Cloud (and on DVDs, and on flash drives…), is figuring out how to enjoy my favorites. I’ve got a bunch of photo canvases hanging in my house (and a few framed enlargements), but I can’t hang everything. The best plan I can come up with is to start making simple photo books via a website where I can easily upload everything. I’ll be able to look at my most-loved pictures whenever I want once they’re bound and on my shelves. I’ll do the books by trip/adventure/vacation first (probably) and then put the rest of each years’ randoms in one-year books. Jim bought me a gift certificate for Hanukkah to get me started and it’s the next thing I’ll begin to tackle once I’m finished with my birthday letter project.

Sidenote: By the way, my friend Piper alerted me a couple of months ago to a pretty awesome iPhone app called Gudak. It turns your phone into an analog camera with 24 “exposures”. Just like ACTUAL analog cameras, you can’t see what the photos look like right away. Once you finish the “roll”, you press a button for the Processing Laboratory and Gudak makes you wait THREE WHOLE DAYS before you can see what you’ve captured. I have taken twelve pictures with it so far; it’s very difficult for me to remember to use the app when I can easily snap photos in the 21st century way, go figure. I need to keep trying: I love the idea of it!

So tell me, do you have any digital photo storage and/or display tips? Throw ’em at me.