Friday, February 6, 2015

Photos and Memories

Recently, I blogged about the dying art of letter writing.

Yesterday, I read a post about a blogger and his visit to his maternal grandmother.  She had kept a treasured photo of her childhood.  She showed it to him.  The photo was about 75 years old, and was of a 10 year old girl, dressed formally, with a frown on her face.

You guessed it - the elderly grandmother was the young girl in the photo.  He marveled at how many details of the taking of the photo his grandmother remembered.

So he took a picture of his grandmother, and other pictures during his visit. He promised to give a photo to his grandmother.  He didn't print one of of vacation photos, though, not one.

 I have over 3600 pictures on my phone.  My son (my 20 something son!) calls me a "digital hoarder".  He's right.  I have even more on a computer I don't use that much.

Number of photos printed out from my phone = zero.  What do they include? Well, pictures of my spouse's now 103 year old aunt.  Pictures of my mother in law, my son, my spouse, a family reunion from 2012, and several vacations.  Lots and lots of memories.
And this photo I took at the house of one of my spouse's cousins.  It's a photo of an old family photo.

Think about it.

How many of us have spent treasured times with elderly relatives while they showed us pictures of our families from years ago?  How many memories were passed on?  How many stories were told?

Here's a personal memory.  Years ago, in an album, I ran across a photo of three young girls.  It was in black and white.  One of the girls looked just like me (almost exactly like me!) but the dresses they wore looked like something out of the 1920's.  They posed, formally.

Fortunately, someone had written on the back of the photo.  The photo was of my mother, and two of her sisters.  And yes, it was taken in the 1920's.  I looked at this photo and marveled, just as the blogger had done. Except my mother was long dead, and could not share her memories of the day.

Will I be sharing photos with my yet-to-be-born grandchildren one day?  Or will those photos languish in a landfill somewhere, in a computer long discarded?

Do you print out your treasured digital photos, or display them in a digital photo frame?  Or are you a digital hoarder, like me?

22 comments:

  1. i believe in the power of photos and sharing them with our children and grandkids. I feel that it is our responsibility to share stories and memories, particularly today, when so many young minds are filled with reality TV superstars, who are here today and gone tomorrow. There is a Jewish saying, "Know where you come from, so you can know where you are going." Thank you for this lovely post. HUGS <3

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    1. I so agree, Judy. I haven't done enough of that sharing with my son.

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  2. Alana, I print quite a few pictures, thanks to my daughter Amalia, who reminds me to do it. Also thanks to Shutterfly, which sends me periodic specials: 100 free prints is a popular one. All you have to pay is the postage! You'll feel so smart if you pick a few pictures to print and display them on your 'fridge or your desk or on your wall. And won't your son be amazed!

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    1. I'll check Shutterfly out. When my son was young, I used to fill photo albums (of good old fashioned film photos). Now- nothing, nothing printed for years.

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  3. Hi Alana :)

    Great post and awesome share! I love going back and looking at old photos of my family especially my grandparents who have passed. Just so cool to look at all of the pictures of my parents as well when they were young and to know that yes there was a life way WAY before me with tons of memories for those people too :)

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You are welcome. But now I have to work on getting some of my digital photos printed out. Will I be up to the task?

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  4. Great story about your mother's photo from the 1920's! We have lots of old photos and I scanned many of them into my laptop. Some were printed out and framed for display, while others have been used for blog posts and Facebook memes, like #ThrowbackThursday.

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    1. The scanning is a great idea. I wonder if a cousin, who does serious photography as a hobby, has done anything like that. He used to develop his own photos when he was young.

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    2. The great thing about scanning old photos onto your computer is that you can edit and restore them as well.

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  5. You know that is a great idea (loved your photo!) - taking a photo with my cell phone of some of my photos to preserve them - a lot easier than scanning. Thank you :)

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    1. Yes, taking pictures of old photos would be easier than scanning. Wonder what the difference in quality would be. It's a thought, Donna - thanks!

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  6. I have done both the scanning and the cell phone retaking of old photos. My personal FB page has old pictures from four generations back. But I can't name the people because there is no one still alive to help me. So I make sure to "tag" in my FB. The quality difference depends on your camera and the picture itself. Sometimes you cannot even notice.

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  7. Oh, and duh, Absolutely great story. I got carried away with the first comment. Lol.

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    1. Thanks for both of your comments. I have no one, either, for the really old photos on my mothers side. And right now, I'm not even sure where in my house they are. Isn't that terrible?

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  8. I have tons of digital photos on my SD cards. I'm trying to keep up with printing them out to put in scrapbooks, but it is so difficult.

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    1. In the old days of film, we never could take as many pictures as our digital cameras and phones allow us to. Not unless we were millionaires. Maybe, in a way, that was a good thing, as we had more time to organize the photos..

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  9. I have so many digital photos that are stored on my computer. I used to print them and put them into albums or scrapbooks but haven't done that for a long long time. I should convert them into a photo book. Vistaprint has some very good offers right now. Thanks for sharing,

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    1. So, I have two companies to consider - Vistaprint and Shutterfly. If I can pull myself away from Internet memes, I will check them out. Thank you.

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  10. Our family takes so many photos. Between the four of us, we must have tens of thousands. We rarely print any out -- only one of our daughters does that. And we don't even spend that much time looking at them, although we do share them a lot through email, What's App, and so forth.

    At Christmas my daughters really enjoyed looking at the "real" photo albums we had of them as children, which stop at about 2005.

    Another form of memory-keeping that is changing forever...

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    1. What's App - still something else I didn't know about. I will check that out, too.
      My "real" photo albums end before 2005. Too bad.

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