When I was growing up, my dad was the photographer. As a result, there aren’t as many pictures of him in the albums, the fate of all photographers. As a single mother, this was also my fate: there was no one else to take the shot most of the time.
Cell phones changed cameras and photo-taking, of course. I could’ve been in more family photos once I got my first iPhone, save for two minor issues: my selfie game is weak, and I hate photos of myself. Not being in them suited me just fine.
I don’t have to worry about not being in albums, either. Another side-effect of the cell phone camera is we print less. At least, I print photos less often, and I think I’m representative.
I’ve mountains of images on the computer: the joy of not wasting film turned most of us into shutterbugs. Would that I edited and curated before I uploaded in the early days. Live and learn – I don’t need nine copies of near-identical images repeated ad nauseam.
I started dealing with the digital pile about four years ago, though not with an eye to edit and cull. I missed having photo albums about. I missed the easy access to memory. The initial plan was to print pictures out for album placement, but that was before I realized I could have the albums themselves digitally printed.
The first one was a tester, and there were some glitches (side note: don’t choose beige as your album colour), but, in the end, I ended up with a hardcover album of sixty-five pages and almost double that number in pictures.
I have nine albums finished now, but that only brings me to 2015. This wouldn’t be a problem if I stopped shooting, but that’s not the case. Once again, I’m convinced my life would run more smoothly if I had a clone.
I was given a 35mm camera last year. It came to me because it’s broken: the back screen refuses to reveal its secrets, although the previous owner sent it off to Nikon for repair. And, despite cameras not having digital screens to play with until recently, I find its dark inscrutability frustrating. It’s also heavy on my neck. If I can’t have a clone, perhaps a local sherpa?
Finding a favourite shot I’ve taken is, therefore, difficult. Finding a picture I love is not: my favourite photo is below. It’s my son and me on his eighth birthday. My love for this image is an open secret: my son got a version of it printed on glass for my fiftieth.
Header photo credit: Pixaby (if you put “the best photo” into a search engine, you get an infinite time’s worth of great shots.)