I found this photo the other day. How awesome is that? 🙂
Suddenly, it was Christmas eve in my cousin’s wood-paneled basement, complete with macramé sofa covers and circular shag rugs. I was seven years old, my body hadn’t quite caught up with the accelerated growth of my two front teeth and we all wore the Dorothy Hamill haircut (though mine had grown out if that gives you a clue as to which kid I am in that pic). There was turkey and usually a pork roast warming in the oven, my aunt was playing Christmas carols on the piano and enjoying some wine and somewhere in the background ambient noise was probably my dad manually turning the channel on the huge television set. Click. Clack. Static. Click. Ahh good times. Don’t you just love how a photo can bring back all sorts of memories?
Holding it in my hand, I realized that I haven’t printed a photo up in years. YEARS. I don’t think I’ve used the printing services of a photo shop in at least 10 years and I haven’t used my own printer to print up family pics in at least six years. (I remember this because I put a scrapbook together for my brother’s wedding). Beyond that, I don’t even know the whereabouts of my printer.
Digital photography has completely changed my behaviour in how I enjoy my photo memories. I keep my photos handy and with me at all times on my blackberry. I enjoy them exactly every 3 seconds as they refresh in a digital picture frame on my desk. I keep them in virtual albums online so that I can share them with friends and family.
In fact, I’m backing up and then destroying three boxes worth of digital photos on CDs from over the years. Yes, three boxes may be a bit excessive but when you have the freedom of snapping photos with a digital camera, it’s too easy to edit afterwards rather than to wait for and maybe miss the special moment.
I have to admit holding that photo in my hand makes it, and the memory of that Christmas all the more precious. There is something very tangible and real about holding something in your hand as evidence of a memory – a sense of permanence.
As I flipped the photo over, I was reminded of another time in my life, probably late grade school or early highschool. I had signed the back of the photo with what I imagined John Taylor’s signature to be (you know John Taylor – the bassist for Duran Duran. Ok then).
I don’t do things like that anymore with my photos as I don’t print them up anymore. I think I’ll have to change that. It’s nice to have a physical reminder of a past memory every now and then.
Do you still print up your photos or do you keep them in digital format?