Take Your Family Time Travelling – Print your photographs
I’ll be honest, the digital era scares me.
And that’s coming from someone who relies on technology for a living! Don’t get my wrong, I think technology itself is incredible and we have been able to achieve so much with it. My photography business wouldn’t be able to thrive as it has without technology and for that I am grateful. But I try not to be dependant on it. Over time, we have become more and more reliant on technology for simple every day chores. Technology is incredible and it has come so far. I’m fairly certain my great grandparents would never have dreamt there would be a mini robot cleaner who zooms around your house, learning the layout of all your furniture and hoovering everything up as it goes! But has that made us lazy and has it made us too complacent?
What would happen if all technology stopped working tomorrow? Chances are everything would grind to a halt and precious things like our memories could be lost forever.
Take our mobile phones for example. I’m sure we’ve all often joked about how our life is stored on our phones but it isn’t a joke at all. We do literally keep everything on our phones and rely on them for so much. Our phones have become our go to for every day life and we’re lost without them. From storing good old fashioned contact numbers to our banking, fitness, diet, health, work, schedules, videos, passwords, social media, text reminders, alarm clocks and even torches. Not to mention our photographs.
The camera on modern day mobile phones is pretty impressive and I bet you have used your phone to take a picture of your family this week? I know I have! It has never been easier to take photographs – we all carry a camera in our mobile phone and it’s just so easy and accessible. But what would happen if you lost your phone, it broke or it was stolen? Would your life be stolen away too? All that information we keep on our phones that we don’t realise how much it means to us until it’s gone. Take our precious photographs for example.
There’s something magical about physically holding a photographic print in your hands. You really take in all of the detail; you admire the colour more, appreciate the content and notice all the little things you might have otherwise overlooked. Looking at the same photo on a computer screen just can’t compete. When I was a child I absolutely loved my old fashioned compact camera, with its wind up level and film cartridge. The excitement I felt posting off my film reel to be developed and the anticipation of what the film will reveal. I loved looking through all of the photos and to hold them in my hands.
It wasn’t just about looking at photos I had taken; I also loved looking through old photographs. Not just photos from when I was a baby but photos before I even existed. From my mum and dad getting married, my nan as a little girl during the war and photographs of family I never knew I had. It was like I was time travelling. I could spend hours lost in a sea of photographs and learning the history behind each and every one of them.
Take this photograph for example – this is my mother in law’s biological father. She has never met him because he died at a young age in the war. This photograph was given to her when she was a baby. An inscription is written on the back in Polish and it says “a keepsake for my lovely daughter”. How powerful is that. We would never have known what he looked like, read that touching message or really even known about him at all had it not been for that photograph. Somehow a snapchat pic of someone wearing superimposed cartoon bunny ears and funny glasses doesn’t quite have the same impact.
Imagine if this precious memory was instead sitting on something that needed a machine to let me see it. Would just seeing the photos on a screen hold the same magic as physically holding them in my hands? Definitely not. What if that machine that was made in the 40’s or even the 70’s. Even if I could find the machine I’d needed to view the photo, would it still work? Highly unlikely. And just like that, the memory and that little bit of history would be lost. Forever.
Have a think about where you store your own family photographs. Are they on your mobile phone? A hard drive? CD’s? Floppy discs? Mini discs? (remember those?!) You get my point – technology is changing so rapidly that it can be difficult to keep up. The must-have storage of today is archived in favour of something new every few years. Once that digital medium is discarded it’s unlikely you will ever be able to retrieve any of the files you have stored on it. All those memories will be gone forever. So please print all of your photographs. They don’t have to be printed on fine art paper or in a 30 x 20” frame (although that truly is a way to display your photographs like they deserve!) Just print them as simple 6×4” and keep them in a little box. Ready to get out and share with your loved ones over and over again.
And if you remember anything please remember this. Photographs aren’t just images printed on a bit of paper. They are our memories. They are our history. Please, don’t let them be lost to the bottomless black hole that is the digital universe.
Print your photographs. Your children will thank you for it.
I am always happy to help if you have any questions about how to best print or display your photographs. Just get in touch and I will do my best to help you preserve your precious memories.