We take more photos than ever before. We take them with our cell phones, with our computers, with our point-and-shoot cameras, with our digital SLRs. We also share more photos than we ever have before: facebook, email, text messages, personal blogs. Yesterday’s simple 35mm film camera and scrapbook have been replaced with today’s multimedia blitzkrieg of technology.
Yet with at least 10x the number of photos snapped and 5x the number of ways to snap them, we have reached a digital glut of intangible goods. If you don’t take the time to move photos over from your computer to a print, you have nothing but a fleeting moment in digital time…an unstable file that cannot be shared with anyone other than those in the present moment, sitting by your computer or iPhone.
We temporarily have more photos, but in the long run, we have almost none. Digital photography has improved the ease of the taking photos, but has clogged up the process of making photos.
I have certainly found this to be true for my own photo collection. When I used to shoot film, I selected favorites to put in photo albums as soon as the roll was developed. Now that I have moved to digital, I have computer folders and files, but fewer physical photos. I miss holding and seeing those selected moments. I am on a personal mission to make more prints of not just my professional work, but my own life as well.
Busy. Every one is busy. I get it. But make time for the tangible step. Make time to buy a print, to matte & frame a favorite photo, to put together a digital photo book. Put current photos on your fridge. Send current photos to your kids’ grandparents. Don’t rely on facebook photo albums.
Vow to make, not just take, photos.