The Century of Forgotten Images

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This blog post is a bit different to my normal posts… and really is an update of something I first wrote six years ago.

An awful lot has changed in the last six years as far as technology goes and we are taking far more photographs than ever before… BUT we are in danger of losing a whole generations worth of images because no-one prints anything anymore. When you think about it (and I’m the same !) we normally show our friends and families our photos on our phones and iPads… but what if we lose that device ? We then lose ALL our images. Yes, some are backed up on to cloud services (but honestly, who ACTUALLY checks that their backups work and that you can retrieve your photos ??) So, phew, you are covered… but when you die most of that will be gone. If no-one else knows your passwords or unlock codes then they won’t be able to access your photos (and no, Apple won’t tell them).

If you think about the value of looking through your parents old wedding albums, or that box full of old photos in the loft… it is more than just who the people were and what they looked like. It is a whole slice of social history. From the way people dressed (I’ve seen the photos of my Mum in hot pants !) to the places they lived, the cars, bikes, toys etc… and when you look at the old Christmas photos you can see the way families interacted. If we never print our photos we WILL lose all of this.

When you look at an old photo you don’t critique it for the print or photographic quality, you look at it for the memory; over the years some of them fade and become harder to see but that doesn’t make them any less valuable.

Just think for a moment the photos that you have on your phone. How many of those are the “firsts” in life ? The first time you saw your child or grand child, the first steps, first days at school…. and then moving on (and something you  may not have known at the time) the “lasts” the last photo ever taken of you and your parents or grandparents together, those carefree happy holidays as a child ? These are all such valuable moments of our lives and should be kept for the next generation so they can laugh at what we wore, our hairstyles and lack of taste on internal decor (look for photos of 1970’s wall paper !!)

It is now easier than ever to print your own photos at home or to use one of the online services to print them for you. If you want a “diary” of your year then have a look at My Social Book; it will “read” your Facebook timeline and you can have it printed in a book. I order one each year, I post so many photos of “moments” in my life, and it is lovely to have those with the comments from friends and family. Hopefully my grandchildren will laugh at some bits of it when they are older and if it inspires them to go off on their own adventures then even better.

So, why not connect up that old printer, buy some Permajet paper, and print your favourite 20 photos from the year…..


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