Keeping photos

Eleanor began her second year of preschool today. The teacher requested that each child bring two copies of a family photo, and all of the parents began to grumble. Who keeps photos around anymore?

Well, I do. Am I the only one? Greg laughs at me, but I still make him order a few prints every few months because I don’t trust technology for my memory keeping. I’ve heard too many stories about ruined hard drives and stolen computers. We’re constantly shuffling photos from one computer to the next, trying to make sure we have a backup of everything. I know that cloud technology is going to eliminate that issue, but we will still have an editing problem.

Greg has taken about 37,000 photos since he bought his current camera in 2006. When Eleanor reaches adulthood, will we simply hand her a password to access the 100,000 photos from her childhood? All of that data can create a black hole, swallowing as much time as you’re willing to give it. So someday, I hope that we can hand her that password along with a few photo albums.

For me, a photo album yields far more joy than pictures on a screen. I don’t have to click through 20 mediocre photos to get to the good one. And I surprise myself. I love turning the page to find some happy moment that I had forgotten about — Eleanor with a bowl of baked beans on her head or that day I jumped into Lake Michigan with my clothes on. That joy would be lost if I had spent two hours clicking through files to get to the same photo. I’ve been reading “The Happiness Project,” and the author says that research has shown that reflecting on good memories increases your happiness. So I’m not just sappy and nostalgic. Photo albums are good for you!

With all that said, we did not have family photos for Eleanor to take because it’s been nearly a year since we all had a photo together. So Greg set up dozens of shots, and then Eleanor and I did the editing. Here’s my pick for the photo album:

And hers:

One thought on “Keeping photos

Comments are closed.