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Words and Images by Hannah McSwain
With the recent launch of Artifact Uprising Volumes, we’re exploring how our community is using our new automatic book-building service in their daily lives. Next up? Hannah McSwain, one of our favorite photographers who snaps hundreds of photos both professionally and in her everyday. Hear how she uses Volumes to create permanence of her camera roll.
First things first — how many photos are on your camera roll?
Oh gosh, this feels embarrassing...but 12,628. To be fair, I take photographs for a living, and this is a cumulation of a few years’ worth of both my work and my personal photos.
When it comes to your personal photos, what’s your favorite thing to document?
Since I’m in a long distance relationship, I look forward to every opportunity to meet up with my boyfriend David and spend time together. We do this frequently over weekends and holidays, and every time we take a trip together, my camera roll is filled with hundreds of new photos. I love having photos of these adventures, but maybe even more, my favorite photos will always be the small moments we’ve shared together. From his first trip to visit me in New Orleans, to the time he let me cut his hair in my kitchen with rough scissors, to the endless times we spend laughing with each other — these are the photos that matter to me.
Why do you feel that your daily photos are important to put permanance to?
Funny you ask because I was recently reminded of this. David and I met up with a friend a few months ago in Colorado — we were sitting around and looking through stacks of old photos that she pulled out. The storytelling that comes along with the passing of photographs seems to be a lost art. It made me realize that I don’t want prints of just the big moments. I want to look back on the small: the real stuff that makes up our lives together. When I look at these photos, it takes me exactly back to these moments — to this first year of our relationship. And I’ll forever be able to do that with them printed in these albums.
You’ve been able to spend some time with our new Volumes service. How would you describe it to a friend?
It’s incredible. It takes the guesswork, and really, any work out of creating a stunning album. The books I chose are hardcover bound and the moment you touch them, you know they are going to last. As a busy human, it saves me time, and I never have to fear losing my images because they only live in the digital-land.
As a busy human, it saves me time, and I never have to fear losing my images because they only live in digital-land.
Why do you find it valuable to have photo books automatically made for you?
Like many of us, I often find myself in front of the computer for work (when I am not out shooting weddings). That work is what I associate being on my computer with, so even something that is seemingly fun like putting an album together can feel like I’m doing overtime. To have these albums automatically built is not only time efficient, but it takes away the typical effort I have to put in. The books are put together perfectly and sent straight to my door. It’s magic.
What has been your favorite way to display your books?
I’ve been putting them everywhere – on bookshelves, stacked on top of each other, on my night stand, and coffee table (the list could go on!). They’re so beautiful that you could even leave a pile of them on your floor and they’re going to look purposeful. The more accesible they are, the more you’re going to crack them open and revisit what’s inside.
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