Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Bit Photo Crazy {Balance Between Digital & Print}

My uncle and mother have asked me to scan a box full of old family photos. "But...but anyone can scan" I say, but it's too late — what's done is done (and they don't have a scanner). Actually I don't mind. I want these pictures. Scan a little every day and I'll eventually finish. Above are just a few of the many.

With lots of photos going digital (being taken with our new cameras or
cell phones) I think we tend to look at them once or a few times when they're current, sharing online, saving them on our computer and then never really go back to view them, forgetting. Maybe it's not a big deal (or even a mini-deal). It might just be good because it also means we're constantly sharing more of the moment. But I do think there's something to be said about a physical photo album.

I'm probably feeling this way today because I'm scanning this box of old photos, many which are over 30 years old, give or take decades, and I know a few stories of the people within them.

Life is to be lived in the present, but I guess I just like old photos.

So this family/picture nostalgia trip I'm on is due to all the scanning and okay, okay,
I've become a bit Instagram crazy (an iphone app). It's led me to wanting to create a few small and well edited photo albums. (Do you use the app? In case I'm under @papersquid).

PaperSquid InstagramA storm while at work (above).

My niece, Mila (above).
My boyfriend and me (above).At work.
Morning walk
My old little Nokia cell phone was good only for making calls, (the thing might have as well been a rotary phone), but I didn't care. I didn't need or want a new cell phone. I felt they were pointless and a waste of money. People spend to much time on them. Then I kind of saw the light when it came to photos. I know my new cell phone will never replace a standard camera, ever, but it works for me for random daily shots when out and about.

So yeah, digital is great but I don't want some photos to disappear in the forgotten eternal abyss of my hard drive. (And a part of me also says, 'oh well'.)

How do you feel about digital photos versus printed ones? Also do you print out your photos (remember the days of drug store 5x7's which was the only way you could see what you shot – unless you were a professional photographer of course) or do you keep all your photos digital? I'd love to know your thoughts.


  1. Great post Karyna! I could write you a book on this topic... :D
    I have been a scrapbooker most of my life but really got into it when my son was born 1998. In 1999, when my grandmother passed away, my Mom gave me Grandmother's scrapbook and asked me to make a heritage album for her. Grandmother was pretty good about writing who people in the pics were but there were a few she did not label. That started me on a quest to find out who they were and I totally got sidetracked by genealogy and have documented most of our family lines way back...and I was able to identify all the pictures. Four years later, I finally finished that album and gave it to Mom with all the documentation and I scanned a copy of the album for me and put most of it on line so that I can access it if my hard drive were to go. After that, my family decided I was the family historian and old photos have come from everywhere. My m-i-l even gave me some old tin types from her family which I put in an archival album with a copy of her lineage. All this generated a new interest in my family and cousins, etc and we revived our long lost tradition of family reunions every other year.
    It's fun but be careful, genealogy can be consuming!
    I do use a digital camera but my phone is pretty much like your old's just a phone :)
    aka AudreyGardenLady

  2. Hey Audrey, thanks so much for sharing! Another thing that I should share and that also sparked me wanting to create this physical scrap books/albums is the fact my mother and I recently attended a family members funeral (my moms aunt, grandfathers sister). I admit I was not that close to her, and she was much older, but even then they had great photos at the funeral (which I thought was a lovely touch and a nice sentiment) and it really made me sentimental and curious. As well, many of my family living outside the country, who I am extremely close with were in some of the photos! That also sparked the photo albums. It wasn't sad at all but very lovely the photos everyone was sharing.

    My uncle who asked me to scan the pics is doing something very similar to what you are doing, he is collecting a ton of old photos and sharing online with the family through facebook and picassa (hence the pressure to get these scanned!) But so worth it! Especially since we're all a bit scattered in a few countries even though we communicate on skype all the time.

    I looove that your grandmother would also write who was in the pictures. So easy but what a world of difference that makes a few decades later when you come around to viewing the photos and are unsure. That is a good idea I just might copy! I do have to say I'm sure your mother was very happy to receive that album. Worth the work. & awesome and thoughtful. Scanning it is brilliant because you can also pass it down and keep for you.

    Again, thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Another thing I did during that time was to start asking my Grandfather (who was in his 90's at the time) to tell me about his childhood. His were Great stories too! but I got to the place where I couldn't write that fast so I got a hand held tape recorder and I can't tell you what a treasure it is to hear his stories in his own voice. My Mom liked that so much, she started doing it ocassionally too and I know she values being able to hear him speak and sing and tell funny stories.
    He was almost 96 when he passed in 2003 and we still miss him and Grandmother very much.


  4. 90, wow. I honestly can only imagine the amazing stories he had and there's nothing like hearing his voice. I really really love that! It's amazing how the world has changed in the last century. The other day I realized my grandmother, like your grandfather, was born before the 1st movie with sound was made, before indoor AC, lived during prohibition, during WWII, so on and so on goes the list, it's crazy! She also lived out of the US with some other stories.

    Thanks so much for sharing that. Another great idea for me to do!

  5. Go GrandMa!! Glad you liked it.
    My Grandmother did not like to fly at all...didn't trust airplanes and I didn't understand that until I realized, she was bor in 1905....not only was there no commercial air service until the 1920's, air mail started about that time. Funny to me though was that my Grandfather (born in 1907- yes, she married herself a younger man LOL) loved to fly. He always was adventurous ..he even hopped a freighter when he was 14 to "see the world" :D


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