As significant as photos are, what we do with them afterwards is just as important as capturing them in the first place. It is great to share them with friends and family online, on your phone, on an iPad. But these things don’t last, technology constantly updates, and without something more physical it can be too easy to lose track of your image files. I provide clients with a USB of their photographs, and I love knowing that they’ve got prints framed and on the wall. I also keep back-ups, but I can’t keep everyone’s photos forever. And unfortunately, it’s so easy to lose a USB, a CD, to drop an external drive, to have a virus wipe your computer.
My Nanna is 90 this year, and I’m making her a book. I am scanning as many old photos as I can find from her life, and collecting them in one history to keep and read many times over. Some of the yellowed prints are the only memory of an old friend, a relative – and now we can compile these into her story. Of course she will get the First Edition, and other members of the family can have copies too. She can take it to her weekly bridge game, to share with her friends (she still drives, but the way). Her great-grandchildren can take it to school for Show & Tell. And I can keep it on my bookcase, to take down and browse without worrying about flat batteries.
I love the process of going through a photo session, arranging the photos on a page, and adding the details to tell the whole story. My eyes go square sitting in front of my computer for the hours it takes to create, but when I’m curled up on the couch, leafing through and remembering that day, that holiday, that person’s life, the headache fades away and it could be any point in time, but that book will always work.