Back in the good old days, I would easily burn through a roll of film a week. Even before I was a “photographer,” I always had a camera on me, whether it was my trusty little point and shoot or a disposable camera that I had tossed in my backpack for emergencies. Before I even knew what it was to be a photographer, I was constantly capturing the beauty of nature, the nature of friendship, or the highlights of a special event through any means I could find.
I remember the anticipation I felt after I would finish another roll of film and I would take my used rolls to the local drugstore to get the film developed. I almost always chose the one hour option because I was far too impatient to wait a couple of days to see the images I had captured. It was like Christmas going through all those prints and finding treasures to frame. Do you remember those days? To this day, I still have boxes and boxes (as well as photo albums) of prints dating back to my high school days.
These days, people take more photos than ever before (thanks, smart phones!) yet no one is getting them printed. Do you find that ironic? We are capturing precious memories with our cell phones on a daily (maybe hourly?) basis and yet, we rarely go back and visit those memories again. Instead, we post them to Facebook or Instagram and for a brief 15 seconds our images get likes and hearts and smileys and maybe a share or two and then…poof. It disappears into the oblivion of the internet. Sure, you still have it on your account, but how often do you really sit down and scroll through memory lane? Not often, I’m willing to bet.
Full disclosure: I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else. When I had my first baby, I found myself snapping photos of her constantly. I’d post things on my social media every now and then, but often I’d forget and the photos just gathered virtual dust on my phone. Soon, though, I realized that even though I had a ton of photos of my baby girl on my phone, I didn’t have a single print (much less a photo book or album) displayed in my house. That realization made me sad and so I sought out a way to take all those images I’d been collecting and put them in one place. Lucky for me, that’s just about the time I found Chatbooks.
What is Chatbooks?
If you haven’t heard of Chatbooks yet, you’re in for a treat. Here’s the skinny:
- It’s quick and easy. Just install the app and start making your books. You can make a book in 30 seconds flat. Not kidding.
- You can pull images from your Instagram account, from Facebook, or from your camera roll on your phone. You can easily include or exclude images and/or text.
- You can set it up to create books for you automatically. Chatbooks will curate your images through your chosen account (I use Instagram) and once you’ve hit 60 images, they’ll send you a book!
- Prices start at only $8 per book, shipping is free!
So now you’ve got the lowdown on what an amazing service Chatbooks is, here’s why you need to start using them right away:
1. Digital is not always a safe bet.
Computer’s crash. They get viruses. Uploads fail. Memory cards burn up. Basically, sh*t happens when you’re dealing with technology. It’s inevitable. If you’re counting on your computer, or a hard drive, or a memory card to keep your precious moments safe, you’re going to regret it. Don’t trust your memories to technology that is known to fail.
2. You don’t own your Facebook or Instagram account.
Fun fact: Facebook and Instagram own your images as soon as you post them. Did you know that? Not only that, they can shut down your account for any reason at any time and your images will be gone forever. Getting your images off your accounts and into a book pronto is the best way to make sure your keepsakes stay with you in case good ol’ Mark Zuckerburg decides to torch his empire.
3. You (and your kids!) will love them.
I kid you not, my kids will spend a good hour looking through our stack of Chatbooks and laughing about the pictures they find of themselves and our relatives. They constantly surprise me by pointing to a picture and telling me the story behind the image; something that may have happened over a year ago or when I thought they were too young to remember! Images are powerful memory awakeners and I can’t tell you how much I love watching my kids lovingly pour through every book we have and talk and laugh about the memories they find there.
4. They are a great conversation piece.
I keep my stack of Chatbooks in a cute little basket on my living room bookcase. Without fail, every time we have a visitor who sits down in our living room to hang out, they inevitable reach for our stack of books. It’s so fun to watch our friends and family get absorbed by the pictures and it really makes a great conversation starter. It’s also fun because I keep my books in chronological order (OCD, much?) so that you can easily see how much my kids have grown by a quick glance through my books.
5. You’re more likely to look back at your memories if they’re in a book.
Let’s be honest, shall we? Raise your hand if you regularly sit down and look through your computer files at all your old images. Anybody? Bueller? No? Yeah, me either. I may look through the images on my phone from time to time but my memory fills up so quickly that I have to dump them onto my computer fairly often. Once those photos are in my computer or on my external hard drive, it’s unlikely I will see them again for a very long time (if ever, if I’m being honest). This is not okay with me! I have noticed, though, that I will sit and look through my Chatbooks at least a few times a year, but often a few times a month (because my kids are constantly pulling them out!). I love that I can easily access my photos and relive my most precious memories without pulling out my laptop or plugging in my hard drive.
These are just a handful of reasons why it’s so important to get those photos off your phone and off the web and into your hands. Have I convinced you yet? I hope so, because I’m telling you, having these memories at your disposal is precious. Even if you just order the basic, paperback style books (which is all I’ve done in the past), these books are seriously the most looked at books in our house. But now, Chatbooks has teamed up with Rifle Paper Co. to make some seriously gorgeous new covers for their books!
Aren’t these beautiful?! I have always been a fan of Rifle Paper Co. so when I saw these new covers, I knew I had to get my hands on them. These beauties would also make AMAZING gifts (I’m thinking grandma’s birthday, mother’s day, Christmas). I can guarantee you my mom and mom-in-law will be getting a custom Rifle Paper Co. Chatbook for at least one holiday this year (shhh! don’t tell them!).
If you want to try Chatbooks (or if you already love them and need to make a new book!) now is the time to do it. From now until the end of July, Chatbooks is having their semi-annual summer sale where everything is 20% off! To take advantage of the sale, just use the code “GROW” on the app or web for 20% off everything on the site from July 18-July 31.
Do you print your photos? Have you tried Chatbooks yet?