Magic Monday: Happiness from Photography

A little treasure I’ve been reading during our afternoon bike ride/nap in the trailer, is this gem:

I have followed Gretchen’s blog for quite some time, but was delighted to stumble across her book in the library.  I was even more enthralled to find this small dedication inside devoted to photography and its contribution to her happiness.

Please allow me to share a snippet:

..the importance of keeping happy memories vivid…

Studies show that recalling happy times helps boost happiness in the present.  When people reminisce, they focus on positive memories, with the result that recalling the past amplifies the positive and minimizes the negative.

With this knowledge in mind, I vowed to take steps to help everyone in the family to experience happy times more vividly.  Jamie loves looking at photo albums and has a secret sentimental streak for things like outgrown baby clothes, but he’s not going to put in the time necessary to pull memorabilia together.  If I wanted a treasure house of happy memories for my family, I needed to be the one to build it.

I stopped resenting the tedious hours I spend maintaining our family photo albums.  I use these albums as a family diary to capture little family jokes, or funny incidents as well as the usual round of birthday party, Thanksgiving dinner, and vacation scenes.  Photos help me recall happy details that once seemed unforgettable: Jamie used to make rice pudding all the time; how tiny our four-pound Elza was when she was born; and how Eleanor loved to show off her belly button.  Without photographs would we remember the fall afternoon when we wandered through Central Park with Eliza dressed as a “lovely fairy” or Eleanor’s ecstasy the first time we put her in a swing?

Not a chance.”

-Gretchen Rubin, “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing int he Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” , pages 101-102

I agree with Gretchen.  Photos can have an enormous impact on our happiness by reminding us of happy times.  Our kitchen fridge is littered with snapshots of my family and every time we walk through the kitchen I catch a glimpse of a funny or happy moment.  I get to relive it for a brief moment and be reminded of whats most important in my life.

Here’s a few questions I thought I’d throw out:

#1.  How have your personal family photos affected your personal happiness?

#2.  How often do you PRINT your photos?  Is all your potential photo happiness dependent upon a computer or electronic devise?  Or can you happily stumble across it in your everyday living space and easily share with those around you?

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She recently learned how to yodel so she could perform upbeat polka songs in the kitchen for the baby boy she is smitten with. Her delightful husband sings bass and does a great oom pah line to accompany the yodel chorus. She wrote an opera once, and dabbles in cowboy poetry.

Brooke teaches private photography lessons as well as monthly photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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4 Responses

  1. What a great book… I will certainly look for it the next time I’m at the library. I have a 365 project where I take a picture every day of the year and then write a simple paragraph about it. I love, love, love looking back at all those routine daily things we’ve done because it brings back so many vivid memories and makes me happy. I’d highly recommend everyone giving it a try. Sadly though, I all too often forget to print pictures but spent a good chunk of time this summer (and lots of free deals online) printing a zillion photos. I stuck them in plain old albums and my 3 year old says they are her favorite books.

  2. Looks like an interesting read! I love our family photos and find GREAT joy in looking at them and remembering the sounds and feelings associated with specific memories. However, I rarely end up printing them and hope that by printing my blog into book form will help keep those cherished moments alive forever.

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