And when I say photos I don't just mean professional photos you get done with a photographer. I mean photos in general. The holiday snaps, your daughter's first birthday photos, day-to-day photos of the kids playing, travel photos. All these photos hold many precious memories, yet we're not printing them like we used to!
We are living in a generation where technology is moving faster than the speed of light, where everything seems to be digital driven and as a result I truly believe we will be one of the most photographed generations (the front-facing camera for selfies anyone?!), yet our grandparents will have more enduring photographic prints than us. Digital storage decays - look at the death of the floppy disk and the CD-ROM - most laptops don't even have a disc drive anymore! I can see the same thing happening with USBs one day. Storing our photos on digital devices or even in the "cloud" is not infallible.
I remember as a child having a cheap film camera, the kind that you wind the film on after every photo you take. I remember Dad taking photos on his Pentax camera. After we finished the roll of film, off to the photo lab we'd go & come home with the 6x4 inch prints. I remember putting these prints into photo albums, sliding each one into it's new home. I still have all my photo albums - photos I took of my pets, of friends, of places I went exploring, of Mum & Dad.
But how many of us can say that we still do this? That we still print our photos off regularly and treasure them? Most of us just refer back to the photo on our iPhone or computer when we want to look at them - which is wonderful for it's convenience, but our digital devices are not enduring. How many of us have lost hundreds of precious photos because of phones dying, being lost, because of software updates gone wrong? We have lost the precious ritual of printing our memories and having them to hold forevermore.
So then what photographic legacy are we leaving for our kids? One of my most precious possessions is my Dad's photo album. It's a story book, a lifetime of memories and moments encapsulated in a beautiful brown leather album. But if our generation is just storing everything digitally, what will our children have of us when we're gone? Their computers probably won't have USB ports and the cloud storage companies of our time might have disappeared by then.
And lastly, the reason I still choose to print our everyday photos into photobooks and albums each year...because there is a magic in the art of it. No iPad with Retina display, no 4K ultra HD screen will ever replace the magic of holding an album of photos in your hands. Flicking through the pages of it as you sit with your children. Getting it off the bookshelf, dusting it off and smiling as you remember that time you spent all weekend at the beach with the family. There is a magic about printed photographs and I hope that our generation remembers before it is too late.
Next week I am going to blog about ways you can get the most from your photographs - ideas for printing and enjoying your images.xx