In family, Thoughts by BrendaLeave a Comment

“Say cheese!” Photos.  What a treasure to have photos!  Because of photos, I can see what my parents and grandparents looked like as a child.  I can see what I looked like as a child.  I can compare my children’s baby pictures with mine and my parents, seeing resemblances.  I can see my parents’ wedding and many other moments I missed.

Photos help us remember special times.  Although we can remember some things, we can’t remember all things.  We take pictures at birthday parties, at graduation, at weddings, and the like.  Periodically we may have the formal family picture taken.  Those are carved in stone on our memories, as they hung on the wall for many years.  If we didn’t smile right or got an unfortunate haircut (or made an unfortunate selection of wardrobe) it’s for the world to see for years to come.  I remember one particular family picture when I was young.  My trip to the swimming pool earlier in the day didn’t give my hair enough time to dry while up in curlers, hence the wonky hair.  If it hadn’t been for my one year old picture, I would have not teased my mom for the “bowl” haircut she gave me then (I tell her that is why I went into hairdressing!).  Think of what we wouldn’t know and wouldn’t remember if it weren’t for pictures!

In the old days, one might only have a few photos taken of them in their lifetime.  What a far cry that is from what we have today.  I guess I’m trying to find the balance.  Only a few in one’s lifetime doesn’t seem like enough, but taking a thousand pictures a year seems like a bit much.

Where is the balance?  I blame (and thank) digital photography for the thousands of pictures I keep on my hard drive from the last many years.  After you buy the digital camera it doesn’t cost a dime to take countless pictures of everything.  And if you already have a camera in your phone, well, that’s even easier. You don’t have to take one picture and wait a week till it is developed to see if it turns out.  You can now take dozens of each pose and see immediately if it turned out well.

My husband doesn’t like digital photographs because at our house, they don’t seem to make it off of the phone or the computer.  He wants to look at them; so a few years back, I decided to start making hard copy photo books (the modern replacement for photo albums).  I just finished one.  Once again I was overwhelmed by how many pictures I had taken.  But again, it makes it nice to be able to remember trips, parties, baby smiles, and projects as I look back over my pictures.

Now that I have such a high quality camera on my phone (and you do too), I take more than ever.  But then I also have a whole new category of things I take pictures of.  I take them to remember something.  This morning I took a picture of my grocery list that I keep posted on the refrigerator.  That way if I happened to stop into the grocery unexpectedly, I’m ready.  I’ve taken pictures while shopping of everything from furniture to a clock radio to fabric to remember the styles I liked and the prices they were so I could ponder later.  Of course, I plan to delete them after they aren’t needed. When buying fabrics that I plan to use together for a project, I take a picture of them together, right there in the store.  Then if I take them home and they get mixed together with my other fabric, I have a reminder what I bought for my project.   I’ve taken pictures of wounds to record how fast they heal, of my hair when it did ‘right for once’ for reference, of the placement of furniture in a room before rearranging, the list is endless.  If we’re out and about with my grandsons and they try on a funny pair of glasses, I just take their photo so they can see themselves on my phone.  These little guys are so accustomed to getting their picture taken and seeing it immediately, it makes me think back to when we had to wait on them to be developed!  (And that is another story on patience that this new generation doesn’t have to use!)

Upstairs I have a 15 gallon tub of printed photographs of my sons in their younger years and many others.   I keep adding to it when we get photos in Christmas cards or graduation announcements. What am I going to do with them?  I have notions of scanning them all into my hard drive.  That would only take about 100 hours! And if I did, would I actually throw the paper ones out?  Or would I think I could make them into a craft? (Maybe wallpaper a wall or an entire house?)  But the scanning has not begun at this point.  If I had the scanner in the living room and scanned them in every day during Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, how many weeks would it take to complete? (Years?)

I have scanned some old family photos into my computer through the last several years.  I love having them at my fingertips when I’m doing something like “writing a blog entry about photos!”  I’m curious, how do you deal with all of your pictures as they pile up through the years?  Do you take a lot of them?  Or do you let that job to someone else in the family (like me!)? What do you do with all of the old photos passed down through your family? I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on the subject.

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