Here, it happened. An entire generation grew up without having their photos printed. Yes, surely there are few images here and there that actually made it into a print form, but tangible images became an exception. Isn’t it funny? We have never taken so many photos ever before and yet, at the same time, we have never printed so few photographs.
Now the value of photography is sometimes forgotten and we get a little careless about the images that we take and how we should care for them. With all the digital storage devices we have at our disposal it is also hard to remember what image is where. Is it on your phone, ipad, digital camera or on that media card, that you just can’t find? Is it in the cloud? Which one? Do you still remember the password and what email it was registered with?
As a professional photographer I understand the true value of each photograph, and I know we have the responsibility to preserve our images and make them last for our children and for the generations to come. By not backing up your images regularly and by not printing them and putting them into albums you run the very real risk of losing these memories forever!
Have you ever experienced the flashback evoked by a photograph? Few days ago I found a photo of my youngest when she was 3 months old and it all came back to me: the smell of her baby curls, the softness of her body in pink cotton pjs and how pleasantly heavy she felt in my hands. It’s not like I don’t remember it without the help of an image but still, the photo was capable of bringing it all back with amazing clarity.
Digital storage units such as hard drives have a limited life span and often they fail long before their expected date. All hard drives will fail and it’s just a matter of time. More than that, digital storage evolves and it might become hard to access your dated systems with time. Cloud storage systems failed too. Facebook crashed a few times and yes, there were files that got lost.
Photographs matter whether it be a wedding, a family image, a portrait of your mom or the snapshot of your one year old baby year who is now turning twenty-one. We all have them. As much as we value these such personal images, it’s long after we are gone that their real value is appreciated. It’s when your great grandchildren are going through your wedding album finding it hard to believe that somebody could wear a dress like that on their wedding day.
There is a definite risk your great grandchildren won’t have USB to read them and if that’s where your images are from your wedding then a good chance no one will get to look at your dress or see how tall great grand-daddy was!
Sometimes, we only realise the true value of a photograph….when it becomes a memory.