Aren’t smartphones great! We all love them – some of us perhaps a bit too much – and the cameras now built into them are capable of achieving superb results whether or not the user has any knowledge of the finer points of photography. That is, of course, why at family occasions, such as weddings and birthday parties and when on annual holidays, numerous digital images are recorded and stored on the little devices. What concerns me is what happens to the photographs after the memories of the happy events have faded. Are they transferred to social media or hard drives or are they made into prints to be kept in a drawer at home or lovingly placed into photo albums? I fear that in the majority of cases the former two are the most likely.

Gone are the days when exposed films were posted off to be processed and everyone excitedly pushed in to see the prints when they were returned. Remember the long queues at Jessops, particularly during the lunch hour, to pick up the packets of 6 x 4 prints? That is something we were all glad to see the back of; however, are the changes brought about by the switch from analogue to digital photography altogether positive? Yes, it is very convenient but are the results valued as much as they were in the analogue age?

With treasured portraits of relatives that are no longer with us, pictures of the children at all ages, new babies, schooldays, beloved pets and numerous family occasions, prints form a valuable and unique record of a family’s travel through life. That is why I think it is so important to have photographs printed and preserved for future generations to see and enjoy. Reminiscing about past events while looking through photo albums is a wonderful way to spend an hour on a wet Sunday afternoon. Do you remember that day in Devon when…? Where on Earth did she get that hat!?

Now for a trip down memory lane. Two videos that take you back to the glory days of film photography.

This photograph is of my wife’s father and his parents taken about 70 years ago. They lived and worked in Norfolk all their lives. As far as I am aware this is the only photograph in existence of the three of them together. This is why I believe that having prints made from our digital images is so important.

A family photograph

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