The Lost Archives

One of the wonderful things about the digital age is the availability of digital cameras to…well…pretty much anyone.  Whether it’s a basic camera, smartphone or latest DSLR, they’re everywhere, and everyone has the potential to take fabulous photos or capture the moment. Instantly.

But what happens to most of these images?

A few get shared, briefly, on social media.  Some may make it into the mainstream media.  A lucky few may get printed and displayed.  (Whatever happened to digital photo frames?  Are they even still available?).  The majority of photos taken however, end up stored on local hard drives or in the cloud-like ether (or is it ether-like cloud?), gathering virtual dust, and never to be looked at again.

I find it desperately sad that the age of the photo album – the real, physical, stick-in-and-turn-the-pages album – is pretty much at an end.  My generation and older will always be able to look back at the albums produced by loving family members (it’s usually Mum, right?) of their baby years, or holiday snaps, or albums of special occasions.  Kids growing up now will have to trawl through hundreds or thousands (or more, in the case of my little one) of photos – and that’s assuming the hardware is still functional, available, and that there’s still a way of accessing it.

So, despite the instantness of modern technology, you can’t really beat the immediacy of a real, physical album.

I like to see my work printed – to hold something physical and not just look at something displayed temporarily on a screen.  It somehow feels more permanent and real.

Last year, as a wedding anniversary present, I actually went through the process of printing out and sticking into a real book the highlights from the previous 12 months.  It was a hugely time-intesive process…was quite stressful, but quite enjoyable too, and reminded me how fun it can be to look back over the memories of the recent and not-so-recent past.

I’ve just finished working on what turned into an (120-page) epic project of creating a photobook covering my wobbly-toddler’s first year.  I’m opting to use an online company  I’ve used in the past for this one (I got a bit fed up of the Prit-Stick and glue dot mess), and am excitedly awaiting the postman to see my final book.

If you haven’t done it for a while, why not dig out your old photos and take a look.  If they’re digital, why not put together a photobook of your best shots or fondest memories?  You won’t regret it.

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