Themes of Your Life In Photos

My husband’s family in the early 1900s during more prosperous times.

My husband’s family in the early 1900s during more prosperous times.

Food labels have become our favorite reading material. As I mentioned in last week’s post, we have recently joined the low-sodium club, and so suddenly we find the nutritional information on cans and bags riveting.

While grocery shopping, I now use my camera to photograph product information. Later I can discuss and compare the images with David when we consider our go-to purchases for our fridge and pantry.

The camera has become a perfect tool to document and disseminate information. Dent on the car? Take a photo and send it to the body repair shop. Which pair of slippers do you like? Here are two photos so you can pick. What is that plant growing in my backyard? Here is a photo, I’ll take opinions on Facebook.

If you’re an orderly personality then you most likely discard these images off your devices right away, but how are you at organizing and keeping all the other important images that are save-worthy? And how do you parse them to maximize their enjoyment potential?


Beyond the tagging of images by person, date and location, another way to review and display your photos is via themes. Lots of people utilize the concept for anniversaries and milestone events. Equally common, you can celebrate a graduate by pulling out all the photos to display from birth to graduation.

In this post, I invite you to take that idea a step further and consider more unusual themes to sort and then share your images. How creative can you get?

Here are a list of possible theme ideas, starting with the most common:  








Now expand the concept of theme and think about some of these:








Reviewing your photos with a theme in mind will evoke new stories and insights. Enjoy the reflections as you sift through your images, and then craft them for sharing with these creative thoughts in mind.


To give you an example, I’ve decided to do a theme project with my family photos and have selected food as the topic. Once I’ve sorted, I will then turn those images into an infographic to share. Infographics are wonderfully stylized impactful pages because they summarize a concept and are image driven.

 In our family, food and gathering for long and thoughtfully-prepared meals has been a significant tradition. For the twenty years we raised our children in-home, we hosted and attended many celebratory family dinners. Sometimes we convened for a particular event, but often we just wanted to create a menu and enjoy wine.  

 These occasions were highly orchestrated in that serious consideration was made in every detail from the appetizers, to the pairings of dishes for the meal, and of course the wine selection.  We ate leisurely over several courses and hours, and always lingered afterwards until the final dregs of wine were consumed. Often, as these evenings waned, we would discuss family news, political topics, social issues and art.

 As conversation drifted, our young children usually scampered off to play, but then reappeared to share a skit or other tricks they had organized for the captive but proud audience.

 These memories represent favorite family happy times for me. We were young with all the potential for ourselves and our children ahead of us. We could eat and drink without care because we were young. Bring on the fat, the salt, the chocolate!

 Today, the tradition continues with our adult children. They entertain and put on meals and we are fortunate to be invited. The fact that the torch has passed is a testament that these memories are fond for them, too.


The photo featured in this post is where I will begin my “Our Family Around the Table” infographic. The image has been framed and displayed on our wall for nearly thirty years until it recently migrated to our son’s family home.

The year is roughly 1912, and the people pictured are from my husband’s Borzo clan. In fact, the man near the head of the table on your left is David’s grandfather. Remarkably, my husband favors his grandfather quite a bit in appearance. Quite dashing, I must say!

The image and year hail to a time when the family had wealth and lived in the Netherlands. They moved to Canada where they lost their fortune before migrating to the United States.

Note the tiny room and the bottles of wine lined up on the table. They look to be at the dessert portion of the meal with cake as the finish. The wine glasses are filled to varying levels, and it appears that there is bubbly waiting to be uncorked.

Sigh. Our days of meals focused on such things have come a close, but I’ll remember them fondly. Going forward we will replace the food-extravagant part with richer connections over every other element of our lives.

 I’ll post the info graphic results with you in January. Have a great week!