So, I’ve made a New Year’s Resolution, even though it’s not something I’ve been particularly successful at in the past.
The ‘Dry January’ lasted until 7pm on the first Friday back at work. The ‘daily power walk’ lasted until the first drop of rain and the ‘make a healthy packed lunch for work’ lasted until erm…. Tuesday but this year, I’m determined to commit 100%.
My resolution is to start printing photographs.
It sounds simple and easy enough to keep but like most of us, it’s not something I’ve made the time to do.
After recently spending some time with an elderly relative and taking a trip down memory lane via an old photograph album, I felt a deep sense of guilt. I realised that I was denying both my children and their children the joy of opening a treasure trove of memories in the future.
Watching the face of my aged aunt light up whilst reliving her younger days touched my heart. Her tired and aching body became more upright, her eyes sparkled and her face glowed as if filled with new life and energy. She was once again the young and vibrant woman in the pictures. Her memories were as clear as the day they happened and she laughed out loud whilst extolling stories of wild antics committed alongside my grandmother.
I knew there and then that I wanted to have moments like this with my own children and grandchildren and that I needed to start capturing the images now, before they slipped away.
Apart from the odd staged or ‘arty’ photograph, beautifully framed and on display, the images that told the true story of our lives where stored on rapidly ageing technology that may be lost, broken or become inaccessible in time.
As a young child, I remember spending hours with my grandmother, leafing through her old tin Quality Street boxes, all bulging with sepia, black and white and watery coloured images of our family’s history.
There were fun-filled bucket and spade holiday snaps with sand castles and laughter, austere ones dating back to the early 1900’s, with the entire family lined up, looking very stern in their Sunday bests, right through to my bouncing arrival into the clan. All the images had the names of the subjects and dates neatly written on the back, with every important event or stage in our lives documented and saved for prosperity.
As I grew up, I still occasionally fished out the tin boxes and had a chuckle at the pictures of the terrible haircuts and old-fashioned clothes, recognised a familiar nose as the one I had obviously inherited and admired my grandmother’s youthful starlet looks.
However, it wasn’t until my grandmother passed away that those tin boxes suddenly became one of my most treasured possessions.
I’ve always taken hundreds of photographs and have a huge collection, stored neatly in an assortment of shoe boxes around the house. However, the catalogue of my life abruptly ends at the dawn of the digital age.
I still take photographs, even more than ever but they are stored on numerous devices, on the cloud and in a wide selection of virtual albums. None of which can be guaranteed to survive the test of
time, nor can they provide the sheer pleasure experienced from holding in your hands a real photograph.
Therefore, I am now in the process of filling in the gaps in our family’s photographic history book with printed images and I’m pleased to say, thoroughly enjoying every moment of it.
One day, I hope to be able to share precious time with my own grandchildren, reliving snapshots in time and feeling the emotions each image reawakens.
Time never flies as fast as it does once you become a parent and those special days soon become distant memories. I’m not going to let them fade and will keep their images alive forever.