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Monday, March 16, 2015

Protecting Your Memories in a Digital Age {McKinney Senior Photography}

We all do it.  We all use our digital cameras and phones to take pictures of absolutely everything around us and then we allow our images to fall into the digital hole.  We always think that we will take the time to get them off our phone onto our computer, and eventually off of our computer onto a flash drive.  Yet how many of us actually do it, and how often?

So even if you are one of the amazingly organized people who regularly back up your images and get them onto an external storage device, have you ever wondered what would happen if the technology today doesn't exist in 50 years?  Have you wondered how you would access your images then?  I know...I know...I can hear the pontificating even now about how you have it all under control.  BUT...what if you don't?  What if the future holds something you haven't thought of?

Let me give you an example.  When I was in my 20's I purchased every single Disney video when it came out.  After all, Disney said it was going in the vault and might not come out again.  Being the perfect gullible consumer, I believed them and bought every one of them for my children to watch someday. (Ok...I admit, I watched them in the meantime)  Let's set aside the fact that Disney abandoned the concept of the vault; and let's set aside the fact that I had boys and they aren't interested in most of the movies I purchased anyway.  Here is the simple fact - I can't watch them now even if I wanted to.  They were all VHS movies and we don't own a VCR anymore.  I could buy them again in DVD version, sure...but what if those VHS cartridges held my family pictures?  What would I do then?  How would I watch them?

Well, you say, you can take them to a service and have them transferred to DVD.  Yes, I can.  In fact, I did just that with all of my family movies back to the 1950's that were on Super 8 format.  I boxed up hundreds of reels dating from 1950-1986 and took them to a company to transfer for me.  A couple of things occurred in the process.  The first horrifying realization was that it would cost me well over $1,000 to transfer them to DVD.  I bit the bullet and did it and pretended to myself that DVDs will always exist and I won't ever have to pay to transfer the data again.  But then I received the call.  The company called me to let me know that somehow the shipping company had lost 40 of my reels.  A box had opened in transit and they fell out; there was no way to trace them.  40 reels of my family memories were gone - just like that.  I will never get them back.  Never.

While I let that sink in, I encourage you to apply this to all of your family pictures sitting on a computer, or phone, or CD, or flash drive.  There is only one way to protect those memories...and that is to print them.  Yes, it is old fashioned.  Yes it takes up space.  Yes it is a pain.  Yes wall space in our homes is at a premium.  Yes it takes time to put them in an album.  I could go on and on.  Yes to everything I mentioned.  But, in the long run, isn't it worth it? 

How many times do you actually sit down at your computer, put in the flash drive and look at your family pictures you had taken last year?  I bet not often.  And yet, several times a year I will pull out my photo albums or my wedding album and let the memories wash over me.  Looking through those albums brings me back to a place in time I can't ever live again, but I can remember.

Every time I look at my walls and see my children's portraits or my family portraits, I stop to think about the day we took them and what was going on in our family.  When I look at the image of my two boys when they were 5 and 8 with the dog under the tree, my heart fills with laughter and tears at the same time.  Laughter because my then 5 year old INSISTED on tucking in his shirt even though that wasn't the style and it drove me INSANE to take his portraits with his shirt looking that way.  Sadness because the precious dog my boys were walking passed away 3 years ago.  When I look at my family picture taken 5 years ago on the beach, I can't help but think of the vacation we were taking at the time.  I have to laugh at that picture too because the same said child from the dog picture refused to wear the shirt I had brought for him that coordinated with everyone else.  Instead he wore the shirt he wanted to and it is immortalized forever on a canvas on our wall.  (Fortunately the shirt he picked looked ok, just not as good as the one I picked :-))  I remember how the photographer had the boys laughing and goofing around even though 5 minutes before we got out of the car they were fighting.  I wouldn't remember most of that if my images were on a flash drive.  I certainly wouldn't think about it and relive the memories as often as I do passing by them hanging on the wall.

So I just want to leave you with a thought.  How will your kids remember their childhood?  How will you?  Will they have the records you have left behind for them to look at, or will they be stuck in a computer or lost in a shipping warehouse to be forgotten?  Do you need some new family portraits so that you can hang new memories on your wall?  Come and see us.  We will provide you with beautiful fine art images, and we can create a custom album for you to remember all of the little funny details from your session.  Then next year, you can sit down with your kids during the latest Dallas Snowmaggeden and open the album and remember the fun. Sometimes the old way is the best way.


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