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How Can You Tell Stories Through Photos?

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Tara is a mother of 5 and Founding Consultant for Cherish Bound
. She has a blog called Family Traditions…One Story at a Time where she shares traditions, stories, and fun ideas for families. In her spare time,she loves sports, writing and publishing her family’s stories, baking, and crafts.

Take a look at this photo….

You probably have no idea who those people are, right? Well, that’s my father-in-law. An amazing father to my husband, a perfect FIL to me, yes, I’m a lucky girl, and a man that my children are completely in love with. That was the day he met our twins and the last time we ever saw him. There is a beautiful deep story behind this photo, this man, and this day. It’s a story that needs to be told and shared so my children will remember and know who their grandfather was.

I could simply upload this photo with a few other snapshots into a photo book or throw it up on my wall in a frame. That would be easy, picture preserved and nicely displayed. But who will tell my children and grandchildren about him when I’m gone? What about my babies who won’t remember him? How do we keep his memory alive?

It’s simple…through story.

Story is powerful. When we start telling stories, we connect, teach, and often heal. We relate in a way that brings power and purpose to our lives. Stories change people’s lives. That is why it is so important to take the time to record and write the stories of our lives. Photos are simple beautiful images that help us relive single moments in our lives, but they’re subjective, they can be lost, and simply don’t tell the whole story.

Here are a few simple steps and tips to help you organize and begin storytelling through photos.

  1. Get your family involved. Have your spouse, children, parents, everyone in your family begin writing down simple details of their lives.
  2. It’s not always about dates, times, and places. It’s about lessons learned, traditions passed on, and leaving a legacy of who we are. Let everyone tell their story.
  3. Break it up into bite-size chucks. Start with the now. Start with recording one week at time. Simple moments that define who we are….a sweet husband leaving a love note, a toddler whispering I love you for the first time, a child’s struggle to fit in.
  4. Remember that it’s impossible to share every single picture we take. Pick out your favorite two or three from each event or memory and then put the rest in words.


Photos are priceless, but the stories that accompany them are a treasure. A treasure that will be worth more than anything else we leave behind for those we love. As you create your albums, scrapbooks, and photo books keep in mind one simple rule; if I wasn’t here to share this book would they know who the people in these photos and the stories behind them?

Looking for a re-cap of this week's #GNO? See below and read these:

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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