A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine uploaded an old photo of me onto Facebook – I won’t share the offending photo with you but we all had a good laugh about it. I’ve been thinking a lot about photo memories – this photo was from when I was 16 and it was taken on a disposable camera. It was me, my boyfriend (now husband) and his friend who held the camera at arms length and took a startled selfie of the three of us. Now, this was before the word selfie even existed and we are all looking pretty pale in the light of the flash. There was no chance to see what we looked like in a flipped screen or to check the lighting, no editing the photo after it was taken, no filters. He’ll have sent off his camera, eagerly waiting to see the finished prints with no idea how they would turn out. Chances are he would have shown us at the time, we’ll have looked through the photos together then he’ll have kept them, safely stored away for 15 years just waiting for the chance to upload it onto Facebook. How differently we do things now!
I read an article on the Expedia blog about how young Brits now dismiss their holiday memories within 48 hours; they take the photos, upload them to their favourite social media site then that’s it, they’re done. The survey showed that 70% of the UK’s youth only record their holiday memories on their smart phones rather than on a compact camera. This of course means they are all stored on your photo stream, easily uploaded to social media and then that’s it, has the memory gone?
It has definitely make me think twice about how I store and share my photos. Obviously I take a lot, even just day to day I capture moments of the boys that make me smile. Most of these hang around in my iPhone, backed up to iCloud and every now and then I back them up to an external hard drive. My favourites are edited then put online; they are always there on my blog, my Facebook page, Instagram. Yet, what about the people who don’t see them on there…yes, these people do exist, my in-laws for instance. It occurred to me that they haven’t actually seen our holiday photos. Remember when you used to get your film developed and you would take your pack of photos everywhere with you so you could show them off? I think it’s quite sweet that we used to keep our photo memories alive like that. You could talk about the photos, share your memories and so I try to do a little more with mine;
Every few months I get prints of my Instagram photos which I painstakingly stick to our fridge. It’s not an exciting job but it is worth it, I love seeing these little snippets of family life everytime I go into our kitchen. They always make me smile and visitors tend to be found lingering around the fridge looking at them. They ask me about them and I have a little story to tell for each one.
I’m a big fan of the photobook: I always loved my old photo albums and this is the modern day equivalent. Although I don’t take these around in my handbag with me I’ll show them to family and friends when they come round. At the moment I’ve been doing a huge annual one but I’m going to start smaller ones for our holidays or special events.
I must admit I tend not to change our home photos round that often but when I do I always want a photo with a lovely memory to go with it. Top of that list is usually holidays, not only are you taking a photo somewhere totally different but I think you make a little extra effort to get that great quality capture to help you remember a fun time.
I love giving photos for gifts, ranging from photo books to coasters, framed photos to collages. Each one means something to that person: for instance, for my Nana’s birthday I gave a framed picture with a photo of each of my boys in. One each of the twins on the beach and the one of Lucas was the one below – it’s special because it was taken in front of the Liver buildings in Liverpool and when I gave it to her she told him all about how she used to work in there.
We take photos because we love to capture a moment but they can be so much more than that. They can be a chance to talk to someone about a memory, share with them something that they didn’t know and even talk about the past. Maybe that’s something to think about next time you press that upload button.
This post was written in collaboration with Expedia.