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“If you don’t think photos are important, wait until they are all you have left.”

The above sentence appeared in a meme (from the Power of Positivity’s page) on my Facebook news feed this morning (Aug. 2, 2018). A friend noted in her post that accompanied the meme that people poke fun because she takes lots of photos, but she’s glad to have them.

This meme totally resonates with me. From the time I was old enough to hold a camera, I have been behind it. I think I do a good job at capturing faces, places and things at family gatherings, on vacations and virtually anywhere else where friends and family gather.

My parents didn’t seem to mind my picture taking, either. My dad would take film to the grocery store and pick up the photos when they arrived. As I grew older, I followed suit. Some pictures made their way into albums complete with decor and captions, while others remain in the envelopes they arrived home in following development. Of course, others are displayed in picture frames.

During my upbringing, some relatives didn’t like their photos taken. Sadly, some are no longer on this earth, and not too many images of them exist. What we do have, however, we cherish.

Today’s photos appear more easily thanks to cellphones and digital cameras. Sharing them instantly with family and friends is also easier thanks to social media, texting and messaging. Photos can bring loved ones together across the miles. They allow people to celebrate and enjoy an event as if they are there. They enable us to preserve the memories of people, places, things, events and milestones.

Think of the many silly selfies your children take when they “hack” your phone. Delete them? Maybe some, but not all. Those silly little faces won’t always look so angelic or devilish. They will mature and change over the years.

To me, there is no such thing as too many photos — especially when it comes to family. Memories mean so much, and having them in print or saved in an e-cloud, on a disc or other technological device preserve images that might eventually stray from the mind, but the generations to come will always have so long as they are preserved. My kids might scoff at mom picking up the phone again to capture them in action — yes, working at a newspaper, I’ve learned unposed photos best capture the story! — but to me, it’s a part of their story. Our story.

The scrapbooking products company Creative Memories encouraged customers to “Leave a history, not a mystery.” It’s what I hope to do. So to those who love to capture memories and moments in picture format, keep snapping!