At the very least, be sure you have a date!

Our current technology allows us to easily determine when a photo was taken. Digital cameras export the date as part of the metadata so you can find the date for your pictures by simply hovering your mouse over the photo. It’s easy to determine when this photograph was shot.

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I (Katie) would be able to get the same information by looking at the EXIF data for this photo uploaded in my flickr account.

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Just go to the drop down menu under “Actions” and select “view EXIF info”

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As you can see, I took this photo at 5:45 p.m. (Mountain time) on April 28, 2011. Thanks to current technology, we can find out when a picture was taken – IF it’s a digital photograph. That information is also available to us IF we are looking at the photo on a computer or examining the EXIF data in a flickr photostream.

What about if the photo is printed? What if it’s not even a digital photo to begin with? What if the photo is used on a scrapbook layout? The only way to know what date a photo was taken on is if you include it. This may seem like a simple thing (or even a tedious chore), but by including the date with your photographs and layouts, you ensure that the information lives on. You may think you will remember, but you will forget! Even if you are lucky enough to retain a perfect memory, should someone have to rely on having you next to them to understand when the photo was taken? Too many times we have to act as detectives and piece together when a photo was taken by looking for clues in the background, or trying to guess how old someone is in the photograph.

I love this layout and I love this photo of my Dad and brother. I’m not sure when the pictures was taken. My Mom isn’t really sure either. We can both try to guess by looking at my Dad. We can both try to guess by looking at my brother. My Mom knows a time frame it would have to be after because the glass bricks in her bathroom were an addition to their house, after a remodeling project. It would take a lot of guesswork to figure out the date, but we could still get a ballpark figure if we tried. After thinking about this, I’m motivated to pin down a general date and add it to the page so no one else has to wonder when this sweet scene happened.

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Another layout I love, with some favorite pictures of my son. There’s no date information (no journaling either, but that’s a different post). How will anyone else know when these pictures will taken? Someday, I will even struggle to remember that this was Easter weekend of 2009. Just a simple little date on the layout would save everyone so much work later on!

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Another missed opportunity on journaling, but at least this page has a date. It’s small, and barely noticeable, but it’s there! At the very least, my kids will be able to figure out how old they were in these pictures.

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Are you beginning to see how important just a little date is? By including a date, you at least have a reference to figure out when the picture was taken. Even if you don’t include anything else (and you know I hope you will add some journaling) – at the very least, remember to include a date!

Need some ideas and inspiration for dating your layouts? Here are some fabulous resources:

A date might just be the most important embellishment you put on the entire layout!

katie big