Jaxon Allen grins as he crawls through a pile of leaves while out for a walk with his mom near Centennial Park in early October. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Jaxon Allen grins as he crawls through a pile of leaves while out for a walk with his mom near Centennial Park in early October. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Marianne Van Osch: Family pictures are worth a thousand words

Guest column to the Free Press

Jaxon Allen is a young man with a true appreciation for photos.

His parents, Carlos and Nicole, have a printing and photoshop, Fraser & Pine, in 100 Mile House. Five-year-old Jaxon has his own photo album. He can see pictures of his mom before he was born and himself as a baby and a toddler. He treasures that album. Recently he hid it in his bedroom so that no one could take it. As he said, it is his “own book.”

Jaxon is not alone in his love for his “baby book.” Several years ago, the topic of baby books came up during a discussion after a meeting. One young mother said that even though her son was a little older now, he still enjoyed looking through his baby book once in a while. Other mothers had similar experiences.

The only other album in a home might be the obligatory wedding album. Lovely staged photos in a fancy album. But what about the everyday things that happen in a family’s life? All of those birthday parties, Christmas traditions, camping, winter fun, and the time the dog was wearing that hat.

One mother smiled as she told us she had over 400 photos on her phone, pictures of many special occasions. Well, you better back them up, said another woman. She’d had a similar cache of pictures on her phone but she lost the phone two weeks ago and the pictures were gone forever.

Photos can be backed up in different ways. There is even a cloud where they can be stored. Disks, computers and portable hard drives are options.

Photo albums are real. They are books that you can pick up anytime, to enjoy alone or with someone else. Many now have lines for comments, a great idea. A photo album can encourage reading as the captions become familiar to the children.

A grandmother once told me she sees her grandchildren only a few times each year. During each visit, she takes phone photos. Before they leave for home, they go to a photo shop, pick out the photos they want to keep, and put them into a small album to take home with them.

Years ago every family had photo albums with sticky pages that documented a world of snazzy cars and teased hair, buddies and their bikes, and fish large and small held by grinning men and boys. The photos shifted a bit as the pages became worn and lifted on the edges. But that was because they were looked through often, by children and their friends sitting on the couch, or at the kitchen table with relatives. The photos brought laughter and closeness as people shared their memories.

Lynne Bush, of Lac La Hache, has created a record of her family’s lives with her albums, just as her father did for her and her sisters.

“My father always had a camera and my sisters and I each had our own album,” she said. “Taking photos had been done for a long time in his family. Several boxes of negatives from the late 1800s were found in the basement of his parent’s home and were later developed and copies given to family members.”

Bush has continued the tradition of photo albums for her own children from their birth. When a special occasion was shared, such as a trip to Disneyland, she had several copies of the best pictures made so that each child had them in their album. As you go through life there are busy times when you don’t always do that, she added, and pictures end up in shoe boxes until later.

“It’s fun to watch people looking through an album,” she said. “And sometimes we’ll be talking about something that happened. They pull out an album and there it is.”

A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.


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100 Mile HouseColumnist