I remember the days when we had to take pictures with our old camera. When we used up the roll, I also fondly recall taking the walk down to our local drug store to get them developed.
The film was then sent out and we counted the days until the pictures were finally ready for pick up. Often, we just couldn’t wait until we got home to see them and so we opened the envelope right there as we stood at the counter. Only then would we discover if all those random shots taken in the weeks prior were actually in focus or if our poses “came out good.”
Some were so awful that we’d laugh hysterically on the spot and if it was really bad, snatch them away from each other to destroy or hide it. It was not to be shared.
Eventually, drugstore chains began cropping up that were able to produce photos right on their premises and whenever possible, we’d happily pay the extra fee to get them printed within the hour. That option felt like lightening speed for us back then.
But as you know, there are no such steps required in today’s digitized and selfie-obsessed nation. We no longer have to wait any time at all to view any of our images. In fact, since we’ve been able to snap and share so easily, I have neglected all those older photographs taken way before this technology came along– only being confronted with them when I’m reorganizing closets or unpacking after a move. So now, some of our old photo albums are buried in a closet and falling apart. Any loose photos are simply stacked in a box, but all of them belong on a proper shelf for display.
With our usual daily life tasks that demand so much of our attention, who the heck has time to go through a photo pile? Lest we forget that our digital photos are also collecting their own dust because even if they’re being uploaded elsewhere, many are still just sitting across all of our devices, either way. I can bet that the average person has at least one thousand photos on their phone right now and counting. They’re continually hogging up memory and isn’t that ironic?
Various online tools like Shutterfly have helped me to create special things with my photos, both new and old, in the form of calendars, books, greeting cards, canvas prints, etc. for myself or as gifts, but we’ll never catch up, will we?
No matter, as I will keep sorting and categorizing them. I’ve simply accepted the fact that this will be an ongoing project with no end date in sight, unless I cease to take another picture and that ain’t happening.
I keep reminding myself that if I ever lost them in fire or in some other way, I would be totally devastated. So, while I have them (and air in my lungs) I will take the time to keep honoring all of these old photographs.