I was chatting with someone the other day who was expressing their despair at the decline of the photo album. "Looking at photos on a computer screen will never be the same as flipping through an album that you can hold in your hand."
I agree. It won't ever be the same.
Let's be honest though, how many people (back in the 'old' days) spent time mounting all their photos in an album? And how many shoved them randomly in a shoebox or left them in the same packet they came in from the chemist? I have to admit, I've always enjoyed taking photos and certainly when I was younger (long before the days of the internet) I spent hours mounting all my photos in albums - a new album for every year in fact! Now I have a number of large, heavy photo albums residing in a cupboard in my garage.
Of course, I dig them out occasionally, when I'm looking for a particular photograph (made easier to find if I can narrow it down to a specific year), but browsing through them, nope, rarely happens.
Carry your photos with you wherever you go
The advent of the digital camera certainly changed all that. We might not be able to touch and feel our photographic memories like we used to, but let's be honest, who really cares about photo albums?
These days, we pretty much carry out photos around with us wherever we go. They are available at any time, right at our fingertips, held on our smartphones, which double as a camera and storage device, making our favourite (and not so favourite) moments instantly viewable whenever the urge takes us. Do we flick through them more than we might flick through an album? Of course we do! Just recently my hairdresser was asking about my cats, my boat and my latest fancy dress party costume, and a quick reach into my handbag meant I could update her instantly by swiping through the photos on my smartphone. Well, she asked for it!
If my house burnt down, I would most likely lose all those photo albums stored in my garage. Now that would be a very sad day. On the bright side, I'd still have access to many of the pics I've taken since those old album days, because they are stored on Facebook, Instagram, the Cloud, etc.
Many people hassle their children about the number of 'selfies' they take. People see it as vain and self absorbed. I see it as having fun whilst taking photos of themselves growing up. Many people hate having their photo taken and its wonderful that selfies appear to have changed that, especially amongst the younger generation. There they are with their friends, families, pets or in a fave location - what's so bad about that? One day they'll be able to show their own kids how it was when they were young. Their children will be able to browse through their parent's Facebook page, have a good laugh, and see what they got up to 'back in the day'. Surely that's way better than digging out a dusty old photo album or disorganised shoebox from some dark cupboard in the garage.
Times have changed
Of course, the days of excited anticipation at finding an undeveloped film canister at the back of a cluttered drawer are long gone. So too, are the feelings of disappointment when you picked up your photos from the chemist days (or weeks) later, only to discover your precious Christmas Day family photos are blurred, over exposed or everyone had their eyes shut!
For those extra special moments, like Weddings or a big birthday celebration, you can still create a gorgeous Photo Book. A colourful and beautiful selection of digital images that won't fade over time and won't change colour (now, what was the name of that film that kept developing your photos so they eventually took on a weird shade of orange?!), to have and to hold and to browse through whenever you're feeling nostalgic, or to simply make use of that cupboard in the garage.
It's a celebration!
I celebrate the digital age of photography! I always have my camera (aka smartphone) with me and I'm constantly taking photos of all sorts of things. I can edit them, enhance them, crop them, instantly upload them to online sites if I wish, and browse through them whenever I want and wherever I am. Why? Because I can! Because it's easy! Because it doesn't cost time or money to develop them and because they don't need to take up precious storage space in my home.
So, next time you're out in restaurant with your family, ask the waitress to take a photo of you all. In fact, ask them to take a few - that way you will never get an out of focus photo, where everyone's eyes are closed, ever again! And don't forget to SMILE! :)