!!!Public Service Announcement Post!!!
This is a photography blog after all, so let me throw in a little pitch here today: Allow your picture to be taken- and more importantly, print your pictures. Hang them on the wall. If for nothing else, someday your friends and family will thank you in your absence.
Seems like a poor photograph above, yes? Well, let me give the background. This is a window display at a store near Union Square- an antique store, I think. In this display case they had some old furniture and it was full of these printed snapshots. Not posed GlamourShots. Not professional portraits. Snapshots. Real people experiencing real life. Ok, so what, right?
Then I noticed there were a lot of simple religious prayer messages from different religions… short notes- not the full psalms or anything like that. Ok, so yay God and carry on, right?
Then I noticed a description of the display off to the side. It was a letter in support of making memories. The value of making memories is something we all know to appreciate already, but with photography something has been lost in the last decade as mobile phones and digital cameras and cheap memory storage has advanced: Our memories are expiring with us.
Look, I love photography as much as the next person. My MasterCard might indicate I love it more… or that I am just dumber with money. Besides the point. I love digital photography. I love digital photography because in every task, I seek efficiency. I value the instant image far more than the processed roll film- and consumer trends would indicate most of you agree with me. But herein lies the problem:
With the roll film I got back all 24 or 36 exposures, whether they were shit or not. The obvious bad ones we toss. The great ones, the A images, made the album. Digitally, the A images make this blog and my Flickr page. There are 4,037 images on Flickr. But if you are anything like me, then you have boxes of semi-ok-not-sure-what-to-do-with pictures that are not good enough for an album, but we save “just in case.” Those are the B images. Presently, I have 19,805 total images stored on my computer. So… that 15,000 difference means there are a lot of B images.
Now for just a second let us just pretend I’m like a big deal or have a wide network of friends or something. : ) Now let us say I died. (Hope not.) Suddenly those B images are all A images to those who care and wish to remember. Initially, Matil could farm the pictures off the computer for anyone that cared to see, but how long will that last? Where is this computer ten years from now? Will the software even work? You think so… but who is still running Windows 3.0 or MS-DOS? Myspace?
And let’s face it… there are a lot of pictures of Matil on here, too. What if we both pass? Well, the computer gets chucked during the estate auction clean-out, I guess. Along with nineteen thousand eight hundred and five individual memories.
Even if just in boxes, the printed snapshots always seem to survive the transitions in our life, right? Don’t they? Don’t we all still feel some sort of attachment or perceive some sort of value in the printed image? I think so.
Today, 2016, the year where even finding a roll of film in a store is a real chore, do you know what the most popular camera Fujifilm sells? The Instax mini 8. That’s right. The little, inexpensive, point and shoot camera that prints little tiny Polaroids out of it. Compared to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 I am using presently, it is considered to be quite inferior. But it gives something tangible, immediately, and they actually sell like hotcakes according to Amazon stats and other people who seem to be “in the know.”
Anyway, I say that only to underscore the perceived value of the printed image.
So if someone wants to take your picture… smile, feel honored, savor the moment, and make a memory. And print it!