There was a time when it would take days—even weeks—to get a photo developed into something you could look at, hold, and admire. And even then it was such a fragile thing that could be lost or damaged and, in a lot of cases, gone forever. The advent of digital photography has changed all that, of course. Digital pictures can be backed up and kept safe many things. But we’ve lost something along the way.
With the ever-increasing size of available storage on our devices, coupled with automatic backing up to the cloud, we’re more snap happy than ever, but we’re not admiring those precious moments like we once did. Where we used treat a photograph like a special thing, so many moments are being lost to the dusty digital vaults of our phones and cloud storage services, never to be viewed again. An even scarier prospect when you consider that there are those out there who believe that these lost treasures may become inaccessible in the future. And though many of us have multiple photo frames dotted about our homes, we very rarely update those photos because of the effort involved and the sheer number of photos we take.
But the thing is, our pictures are a window into us. That quirky shot of you in a novelty hat, that smiling photo of the family on a big day out, that perfectly timed snap of the family pet in action. All of these things paint a picture of us that just doesn’t come across in every day interactions. When you combine that with the fact that the printed photo is undergoing something of a renaissance, the good old framed photo makes more sense than ever.
Whether it be around our home or adorning our work space, it’s time we stopped letting our carefully taken pictures gather digital dust, forgotten, in the depths of our phone’s memory. And there are some great options for showing off your snaps these days. You don’t have to have an odd assortment of individual frames spread across your home; you could opt for a more elegant solution, such as a multi-photo frame that could become as much a decoration in its own right as it is a picture frame.
Now, nobody is saying you should spam your living room with pictures of your pet hamster. And not every digital photo is a precious memory—nobody needs to see a framed close up of your thumb. But it’s time we recaptured the magic of a framed photograph on our actual walls, not just our Facebook walls.
Don’t relegate your loved ones to the desktop wallpaper of your work computer, forever hidden behind whatever project you’re working on. Put a real life photograph on your desk for all (but mostly you) to see. Yes, you have that one in a million snap accessible at the touch of a screen on your phone, but why not have it on your mantelpiece or shelf. Even pinned to the dressing table mirror. Lift these memories out of the digital realm and put them back in the real world where they belong. Where they can inspire. Where they can speak to you without you having to search through your photo roll to find them first.
In a world of transient and almost ethereal digital information, physical things like photographs are even more special than ever. Just like your memories.