Imagine the scene: an old woman has died. Her bereaved adult children are gathered together in her living room, perhaps in their childhood home, sorting through her photographs. They are piecing together a history, an origin story, from these slips of paper. Did their mother believe she was making these photographs to give her children a measure of peace after her death? No. She had them developed because she wanted to remember the family trip they took to Cancun or a grade school graduation lunch. She received the photographs as prints because, in those days, that’s what you got. Ultimately, though, they serve both purposes.
Although we make thousands of photographs a year, exponentially more than ever before in history, they live and die in our phones. Thousands of our images dissipate into “the cloud” or “exist” as code encrypted on outdated hard drives. When we die no one will be gathering around our hard drives, or digging through our DropBox accounts, tissue in hand, calling out to his sister, “my God, look at this one!”
We all plan to “do something” with our digital images someday. But, what are you doing with yours? The images on your phone, on your computer, and on your social media accounts don’t, in a literal sense, exist. They are files: inaccessible as soon as your device phases out of viability.
There is good news. As with many modern problems, there are convenient and accessible solutions. Please stop back by Fancy Deli tomorrow for a list of some of my favorites.