Snap-Happy But Easy Come, Easy Go

Snap Happy But Easy Come, Easy Go, is the title of an article I read on Stuff yesterday, which touches on the value we are placing on photos. The article raises two really good points, which I believe people need to start thinking about in this digital age of instant photography.

First up, is simply downloading and archiving your photos so you can show them to friends and family say twenty or thirty years' down the track.

Back in the good old days, you would take your film to be developed and in return you'd receive a box of slides or an envelope filled with prints and the original negatives. While many of those photos would go on to be stored in a shoe box in the corner of a cupboard, at least you had a physical copy of your photos. The only way you could really lose those photos was by theft, house fire or flooding.

Fast forward to the present day and most people use a variety of digital devices to take photos. You've got digital SLR's, digital point and shoot cameras and of course, smart phones. The problem is of course, if you are taking photos on any of these devices, you are then responsible for downloading the photos and at a minimum, backing them up - you do back up your digital photos, right?.

If you aren't doing these basic steps with your digital photos, then you may be setting yourself up to lose irreplaceable memories. And while losing a couple of months worth of photos' is something most people can live with, sit back and think about losing a decades worth of imagery. Imagine losing all the photos of the first ten years of your child's life, all because you weren't diligent enough to download, catalogue and back up those photos.

This photo is a scan of a print. It is of my father as a young man, rock climbing in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. It is an irreplaceable memento for me and something I am glad to have 50+ years since it was first taken with a camera.

This photo is a scan of a print. It is of my father as a young man, rock climbing in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. It is an irreplaceable memento for me and something I am glad to have 50+ years since it was first taken with a camera.

Which brings me to the second point of the article.

Get in the habit of actually making prints of your photos or books if that is more your thing.

Creating prints is as easy as creating a folder on your desktop and adding copies of photos you want printed. Then once a month or every second month, take those files to the lab and get some prints made. Pick up a photo album while you are there and start filling it with your memories.

As the years pass, you'll begin to build up a collection of albums, which will have far more intrinsic value than digital photos in an album on your Facebook profile.

If books are more your thing, do a book a year or after each holiday. Blurb and Artifact Rising are both great print on demand book publishers.

What ever you do, don't become complacent because it is so easy to take photos these days. Download your photos regularly, back them up and make prints of your favourite photos, to show family and friends when they come around.


Christchurch wedding photographer - Family photo albums

Christchurch wedding photographer - Family photo albums When I was growing up, I'd spend every summer and winter holiday up at my aunt and uncle's place in a small coastal town called Old Bar. Located on the northern New South Wales coast, Old Bar is a tiny town perched on the edge of the ocean. The day the school term finished, I'd hop on the night train from Sydney up to Taree, where my uncle Fred would pick me up at 1.00 am in the morning. Next morning my cousin Paul and I would get up before dawn and ride our bikes to the beach and go surfing. We'd surf the dawn session, go home and have some breakfast, then go back to the beach and if conditions were good, go out for another 2 to 3-hour surf session. Sometimes we'd do a late afternoon session if the winds were favourable.

To say I have strong memories of the years' I spent at Sue and Fred's place with my cousins Paul and Yoni, would be a serious understatement. I wouldn't have traded those holidays for anything.

christchurch wedding photographer

Fast forward to 2010.

I'm back in Australia, this time for a funeral. My uncle Peter has passed away after a 7-month battle with cancer. After the funeral, I hop in my rental car (I was living in Bangkok Thailand at the time) and drive 5-hours south to Old Bar. Sue and Fred are still living on the same block of land. I've come to Sue and Fred's place because I need space after Peter's death and I want to spend time in a familiar place with familiar people.

During my stay I come across Sue and Fred's family photo albums. They have a stack of them about four-feet high. Four feet high...

I sit down and start going through them. An hour turns into two and before I know it, I've fallen into a rabbit hole of memories. All because of some photographs my aunt and uncle have taken over the years, printed out and put into a photo album.

As a Christchurch wedding photographer I know some of the photos have a lot to be desired aesthetically, but they have a magic all their own. Looking at those printed photographs links me to times in my life that I can never experience again.

That's the true magic of a printed photograph in a family album.