Maybe we would look back through our pictures more often if we kept physical copies as well?
We live in a fast-paced world filled with carefully-curated selfies, aesthetically-pleasing photos of our favourite meals and hundreds of outtakes as we pose for the perfect shot.
But masses of digital images tend to be less meaningful. This is because most of the photos we take on our phones tend to be for social media – rather than to remember the day. Physical photos allow special moments to be immortalised.
As we pose for Insta pics – pouting at the camera, with hips turned and feet pointed – we’re less aware of the things happening around us.
Maybe you were in an argument with the photographer, or maybe one of your siblings made a funny joke – regardless, it’s clear that the influencer-style image won’t remind you of it.
While genuine, candid shots may not make your social feed, they tend to capture the true essence of the moment.
So why not put them in a photo album instead?
Help with storytelling
Photo albums are the perfect tool to help contain our family legacy. They allow us to show our children (and grandchildren) our childhood, family members who have passed on, and our lives before they were born.
They also act as reminders as we can look back at moments from our own childhoods that we may have forgotten as time has passed.
I recently spent the weekend with my mum’s side of the family. We always spend hours reminiscing and talking about old times, but this time I asked if we could look at some pictures.
I wanted to find out about my mum’s childhood in India and see pictures of my grandparents’ parents and siblings – to allow me to put faces to the names I have heard so much about.
While I had seen many of the images before, looking through the physical albums filled with black and white photos from decades ago was a really incredible and intimate moment for me, and I got to hear stories I had never heard before.
To look back on
Photo albums are a great aid for helping us to reminisce on past moments and experiences.
Hortense Julienne, the founder of Miss Nang Treats, a plant-based range of snacks, and author of two cookbooks, says that her visitors love looking through her albums.
‘My family is mainly in France and when they visit, looking at photos is one of the screen-free activities we love to do,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.
‘You can just pass the books or stacks of pictures around and chat about past memories. I prefer them because you are physically holding them and can see details you might normally miss.
‘It is also nice because we can all sit comfortably without having to gather around a monitor screen, and we won’t be interrupted by any notifications.’
Hortense also loves to look back on back and white pictures of her grandparents and parents.
But it’s not just images from the past. And she still continues to print physical photos and create new photo albums.
She adds: ‘When my nieces and nephews come to visit, I take a lot of snaps that I’ll send to them. Some of them are now in their 20s and still have their walls plastered with those photos.
‘That’s why I love them. And when I pass away, I want my family to share them around.
‘Printed photos are priceless.’
They evoke more meaning
Who really looks through all 30,000 pictures on their camera roll?
Digital photos clearly have benefits. They allow us to instantly share memories with whoever we want, no matter where they live. We are able to edit and tailor them to get rid of photo-bombers or ugly scenery. And we can take unlimited snaps of a single moment without taking up space in our cluttered homes.
But it’s undeniable that turning through a beautifully-crafted, sentimental photo book is far more meaningful than a quick scroll on your phone – and it definitely leaves a greater impression than looking through Facebook albums.
And rather than scrolling through 100 versions of the same picture, you will get to see the best snaps from the day.
Physical nature is reassuring
Photo albums are harder to lose than digital files.
While technology continually develops and changes, photo books will remain with us forever (as long as we keep them).
When we change and upgrade our phones, tablets or laptops, there is a high chance that pictures will get lost and buried in the Cloud – along with hundreds of other files.
They make great gifts
Creating an album dedicated to a specific event, or time period, could make a meaningful gift for family members or friends.
Having multiple pictures on display at once also gives people a real sense of the time they are looking at, and can help to transport them back to that moment.
Helping to keep past experiences alive is such a priceless gift.
Help us see self-growth
Rachel Escio, from Thrive Agency, says that photo albums are ‘personal visual journals that allow us to stay inspired and motivated, to work on new aspirations, and simply sit back and reflect where we are in life and how we would like to move forward.’
She adds: ‘And later on, they really serve their purpose of connecting us with our memories, most of which form part of who we are to the core.
‘From 135 film to early camera phones and digicams, I keep printed copies of my photos.
‘I have my mother to thank. She thoughtfully preserved keepsakes from the day I was born, projects in school and more. The list goes on.’
They’re a nice hobby to take up
Cait Naven, a 24-year-old account manager, has been making photo albums since she was little.
‘I would make a scrapbook of every single family holiday we went on,’ she says. ‘And I still try to print off photos regularly.
‘I must have around 20 albums now.’
Cait takes photos on her phone but worries about losing them.
She says: ‘I remember when I changed from a Blackberry to an iPhone when I was around 14. I was worried that I might lose my photos, so I decided to print off every picture to keep them safe.’
Cait used to make digital albums on Facebook but, a few years ago, her profile was hacked, and she lost around six months of photos that she had not yet had time to print.
‘I love looking back at [my albums], but I would really hate to lose any more photos. I think they are the best memories,’ she says.
‘If my house was on fire, I’d grab my box of photo albums.
‘Phones can be broken or lost so easily, and then all of your special memories are gone.
‘I think there’s something quite sentimental about looking back on real photos rather than looking through your phone or Instagram.’
While Cait loves to make the albums, she doesn’t look through them very regularly.
She explains: ‘I mainly look at ones from when I was little, but I think it will be so nice to be able to show all the albums to my kids or grandkids one day.’
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