Smart phones: today’s shoebox of hoarded photos

Do you take photos on a smart phone? What do you do with the photos? Could your phone be turning into that future shoebox of unidentifiable photos that some have in a hidden corner of the cupboard? If you are hoarding photos on your phone and perhaps in other places, and wondering what to do with them, read on.

Cameras and photos have been important to me since I was a child. My brother gave me my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, when I was about 10. It had a cartridge style film with 24 exposures, and an attachable flashcube which exploded whenever a flash photo was taken. That was the fun part! Prior to a special event a new cartridge would be loaded into the camera with the hope that you would have enough shots to cover the occasion. The exposed film would then be put in at the chemist and sent away for developing. Oh the anticipation of waiting a week or 2 for the prints to come back! Would they turn out ok? Would anyone have their eyes closed in that ‘special’ photo? In those days we couldn’t immediately check the photo, there were no photo bursts, and it used up too much film to take 3 or 4  photos ‘just in case’.

The Instamatic was eventually replaced with Dad’s old SLR when he upgraded, then later a series of digital cameras, and more recently a smart phone. But since the days of the Instamatic, a camera of some sort has never been far from my hands.

Even back in the late 60s, I was in the habit of putting all of my photos into albums. Quite frankly I can’t see the point of doing otherwise. I am grateful to still have these photos from 1971, accompanied by my neatly hand-written titles which identify the date and location.







Back then everyone got their photos developed, unlike now. But not everyone put them into albums. I’m sure we all know someone who has inherited a shoebox of old photos from someone who has passed on. Sometimes the backs of the photos will name the person and place. But when this information is not recorded, the photos become almost worthless. What is particularly sad is that the people and circumstances captured were once very important. Important enough for the photographer to take the photo and go to the effort and expense of having it developed. I find it tragic that the story of someone’s life is lost because photos have not been properly preserved.

The smart phone is becoming today’s version of that shoebox of unidentified photos from yesteryear. Thanks to ease, immediacy, and a big storage capacity, thousands of photos are taken and hoarded in smart phones. Some may feel it is enough to post a few to Facebook, or maybe download them to a laptop or USB. But eventually, those memories you have captured will be lost unless the photos are printed and scrapbooked into an album, or created into a digital photobook.

A few of my completed albums

Scrapbooking is one of my favourite hobbies. When I first started putting photos into albums we didn’t call it scrapbooking. But in 2005 I was introduced to Creative Memories and have loved the products and the hobby ever since. I have a cupboard full of albums that capture the story of our lives to date. I keep a ‘3 generations’ scrapbook for my grandson. The older he gets the more he enjoys looking through the albums I have created for him since he was born. I hope that one day his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will look through these same albums. That way they will know something of his life as well as the lives of his father and grandfather.

I don’t have an album that belonged to my great-great-great grandmother. But I have preserved the memories of my visit to her grave through these pages.

Just imagine having a photo album passed down to you that belonged to your great-great-grandmother. What a treasured thing it would be! Holding something in your hands that was created and held by her hands would connect you with her aross the generations and centuries. Will you have an album to be passed on through the generations of your family, or just a USB containing thousands of unidentified photos?

I really want more people to appreciate the value of preserving memories. Your life is an important one, and future generations will want to know who you were and what was important to you. And so I have taken the next step, and launched a Creative Memories FB Business page. I would love you to visit, like and follow the page, and share it with your friends. The full range of Creative Memories scrapbooking supplies can be seen by clicking the ‘shop now’ button on the FB page, or by directly visiting my CM Advisor site. Scrapbooking does not have to be hard, creative or tizzy. There are products to suit all tastes and styles.

Fast2Fab predesigned album
Simple and quick!








If you are already a scrapbooker and regularly buy supplies I suggest you join Creative Memories as an Advisor. It costs very little and it is effortless – there are no minimum sales or purchases required, you are not required to have parties or hold workshops, and you receive a rebate every time you order. There is really no reason not to join! Details are on my site, or you can email me and I will send you more information including current joining offers.

If ‘do something about my photos’ has been on your to do list for some time, please start right now with this small step. Choose just one event – a recent holiday, wedding, birthday celebration, Christmas, new baby – and get the photos off your phone. Delete any blurred and duplicate photos and print the rest. The Fast2Fab Predesigned album range is the best place for a new scrapbooker to start. This link shows a baby girl album, and there are many others in this range. You will get such a buzz from completing an album. And you’ll know that you have made a start on preserving your memories for both you and future generations to enjoy.


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  • writeofthemiddle says:

    Wow – how exciting Jo! I have been over and liked your new Facebook page. You are right – so many photo’s are on our smart phones these days and apart from some posted to social media will end up being lost forever. I have always admired scrapbooking but have never done it myself. I know that I have actual ‘shoeboxes’ of photos to be sorted as well as photo’s still on my phone. Happy New Year! All the very best with your new Creative Memories business and for 2018 in general. 🙂 xo #TeamLovinLife

  • Jo says:

    I scrapbooked for years – and loved it. I was also a CM advisor for a while there – mainly to feed my addiction to product! I have no idea when or why I stopped, but so need to do something to record my photos & memories – other than my blog. There’s just something about picking up an album, isn’t there? Best wishes with your new venture. #TeamLovinLife

    • Jo says:

      Yes Jo, I have done a photobook but much prefer albums because they seem so much more personal. Being an Advisor is now so much easier than in the old days of CM where there was a financial target to reach. No minimums, no pressure. Do consider it again!

  • leannelc says:

    I have photo albums from the good old days (some of the sticky ones have lost their “stick” and I’m going to re-file them in a new album) I tried scrapbooking but it’s not my thing (I’m not very creative). The pics I take these days go from my phone to my Google Photos and I download them into folders on my computer. I’m not a big photo taker so it’s not really much of an onerous task. I love that you’re making something out of your love of scrapping. My friend Mandy is a big CM lover and often runs workshops in Bunbury/Busselton.

    • Jo says:

      I remember those sticky albums well Leanne! I’ve learned that scrapbooking is not just for the creatives, and personally I prefer quite simple pages which CM caters well for.

  • Thank you for the great reminder about photos and storage and sharing. I have been making memories and scrapbooks for family since my parents’ special anniversaries: 40. 50 and 60. and for my grandkids too. I no longer do them as I have given them to each of the children to keep. I do add mine regularly to my blog (not personal shots of kids) and have made a journal type one for me after having cancer diagnosed this year. It has been a really important part of my recovery to see the changes in me so photos every single day are my record! Good luck with your venture. Denyse x

    • Jo says:

      Denyse that’s a terrific example of the power of scrapbooking. It does have a reflective component, either for ourselves or the people we are doing the scrapbook for. I wouldn’t be without these visual memories.

  • I’ve been making photobooks this last year from the massive archive on my phone and you are right, it is important to be able to store these previous memories in a format we can enjoy beyond our phones.

    SSG xxx

  • kathymarris says:

    I agree totally about photos and great memories not being immortalised. I love the idea of scrapbooking, but years ago I started creating photobooks of special events, one each for my two children and our holidays. I now have a big collection of them. I’ve also created a couple for both sides of our families (mine and my husband) with the family trees and all the old black and white photos I collected. These will be fantastic for our kids to have eventually so that they know their ancestry. Scrapbooking is another great way to do this and I would love to try it some day when I have more spare time. #TeamLovinLife

    • Jo says:

      You are photobook queen by the sounds of it Kathy! I have done just one photobook and personally prefer the actual photo and handwritten journalling in an album, but in the end curating them in any format is the goal.

  • Deborah says:

    Oh I need to suss this out as I had (and have) a gazillion photos on my phone. And my computer. I actually decided to just ditch the pictures I had on my home computer (hundreds and hundreds) when I got my new one. I backed them up on a hard drive but didn’t transfer them over. It was very cleansing! Though I didn’t want to lose them completely. #teamlovinlife

    • Jo says:

      It’s a bit like cleaning out a cupboard isn’t it Deb, except that photos are harder to say goodbye to than that dress that no longer fits. I hope that this is the year that you discover the fun of scrapbooking and the joy of completing an album!

  • Anne Seery says:

    Perfect timing for me Jo. I’ve had my 21st century phone for a whole year now (yep took a while to get with the program) but now it refuses to let me take any more photos until i (aaarrghh) delete or do some techything to move them. 🤣🤣 Your idea sounds like so much more fun and yes, i prefer my memories in an album i can touch ❤ wishing you well with your new ‘creation’.Keen to watch this space xx

    • Jo says:

      Anne how lovely to hear from you! Wow, a phone with limited storage would have to keep anyone on top of their photo stash. Now’s the time Anne to not just move them but get them developed and into an album! I have been moving mine onto my laptop (the cord does all the work – love it!), then delete, sort, straighten, etc and put the best onto a USB which is taken to the photo place. Lots of people use on-line services for getting their photos developed as well. My guess is that this would streamline the process much more ie straight from phone to on-line service. I’m yet to explore this process but will need to now as there is no place to get photos developed in this little town! xxx

  • I love this idea! I’m in. I was doomed the moment the first digital camera came out. I have videos and photo albums of my daughter but my son’s pictures have been lost between various computer change overs and various phone upgrades. My only album is Facebook and if ever I lost my profile there, I’d be doomed!!
    So, perfect timing for me too Jo. xoxo

    • Jo says:

      Ah that is the great tragedy of digital photography Leanne. Years ago a friend was doing a photoboard for her son’s 18th, but only got as far as about age 8 because that’s when digital came in and she couldn’t find any more photos. Sounds like a good time Leanne to preserve those FB photos so they won’t be lost and can be enjoyed by all.

  • Congratulations on your new venture!! What a fabulous idea. I have quite a few albums too, but I must admit I’ve stopped printing pics and putting them into albums in the last few years. I have a back up of all my photos on my PC and the portable hard drive. They are filed carefully in year and event, so they can be accessed, but it’s no substitute for the good old album or a lovely scrapbook 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Jo says:

      There’s nothing like looking through an album of any kind Lyndall, whether scrapbooked beautifully or just plain. It’s a really good idea to have your precious photos backed up, until that ‘right’ moment comes when you decide it’s time to put a few more into an album.

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