A photo tells a story

Do you remember the anticipation you felt when a store clerk handed you the oblong yellow and white envelope containing your pictures? You deposited a canister full of images, waited a week or so for them to be processed, and then the moment of truth arrived: discovering how many of your “perfect” photos were actually decent. Incredible anticipation built as I sifted through the glossies. Many times, I felt disappointed that what I saw through the lens didn’t translate to print.

What a visceral memory!

For my eighth birthday, I received as a gift a Kodak Brownie camera. It had a boxy shape and was a dark chocolate color. (Is this where the name “Brownie” came from?) Film, flashbulbs, and developing were so dear that I didn’t take many photos. I saved picture taking for special events. That’s probably why there are only images of major holidays and important gathering from my youth.

But today, the philosophy is different: we snap pictures of sunsets, our culinary creations, pets, kids, signs — you name it.  We can immediately tell if the picture is worth saving. If you’re anything like me, you might find you’re taking more photographs now but, perhaps, enjoying them a little less.

Why is this? I think part of it is because the mystery is gone but also photos feel more like a commodity, easily taken , just as easily forgotten. We don’t often print the photos, create albums, and leaf through them. Have you found yourself searching for a picture you took (and saved), only to weed through your phone, iPad, and computer to come up empty-handed — and frustrated?

Me, too.

That’s why I decided to get organized — and stay organized. Follow along in the upcoming weeks to learn how I’m doing it.

(And if you have any tips, please let me know what worked for you in the comments below.)

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