Remember those days when cameras – point-and-shoot or SLRs – were reserved for special occasions? Birthdays, family picnics, Christmases, prize day at school... There was no digital-anything, so we played the waiting game. Wait patiently (cheeks hurting from all that forced grinning!) while the person clicking the photo positioned everyone just so, wait until the roll of film – 24 or 36 shots – was finished, wait for dad to take it to the Kodak photo lab (remember Studio Perfecta or Hill Studio?) to get developed, wait in anticipation for a week before we could collect the snaps...
And then prepare yourself for whatever you got: a cousin picking her nose; your brother making “horns” above your head; over-exposed photos; under-exposed photos; blurry shots, red-eye... and some truly picture perfect ones. These were put into their plastic sleeves of a photo album and pored over, year after year after year...
|14 Feb 1978: Dad & Mum all dressed up for my uncle's wedding|
Right now, I’m picturing the beautiful black & white photos of my parents’ wedding album and my own sepia-toned baby photos. And who can forget those family photos taken at make-shift “photo studios” at the Bandra Fair with their cheesy backdrops of tulips and alpine mountains? Memories and magic.
|Dad, Jason, me and Mum; circa mid-1980s around Christmas (hence the long sleeves)|
The only photos I print out these days are the few I post to my mum and dad of my kids every few months. The remaining six million-trillion-gazillion are idling in various hard-drives, USBs and memory cards, eating up space.
What’s with our need to capture every nanosecond of our lives on camera? Is it just because it’s so easy thanks to our smartphones? Or does our technology make us feel compelled to click? It’s almost as if, if you’ve not recorded it, it never happened.
So this year, I’ve decided to go easy on the photos; enjoy the actual moment as it unfolds in front of me. And to print six million-trillion-gazillion photos I’ve accumulated. It may take me the better part of the year, but I’m just going to grin and bear it.
What do you remember most about photos from the "olden days"? Do you ever print out your digital photos?