In a world of entirely digital reproduction, why create a photo album? Is this not an entirely antiquated thing from years of yore? Or, does it instead still have some value?
Today, we will be exploring 6 of the key reasons why you might want to create a photo album in the face of digital reproduction and social media.
1. Priceless Investment
The meaning of leather photo albums today is radically different from what it once was. Long gone are the days when to own a photo album was to own a flaking and musty collation of yellowing prints.
Nowadays, a family photo album is a tome through which you can collate and curate an exhibition of memories and emotions. Of course, this is what it has always meant, but it has never been easier for your own photo album to represent the specific custom desires of your own family members.
Technology moves so fast, though, that the tech we currently surround ourselves with could easily become obsolete within years. Think about the state of VHS tapes and how difficult it is now to find a way to play them. What if the same were to happen with USB drives? Where would future generations see their wedding albums, special moments, and family photos?
2. Telling a Story
The ability of photographs to capture a single beautiful moment is arguably still unparalleled. Sure, there is the argument between competing factions that painting is better than photography and vice versa.
Likewise, the ability of cinema and film to capture the moving image is also unparalleled. But is there an in-between? Of course, that in-between lies within the photo album, which allowed treasured memories to be curated in one single medium or series of photo books.
A single picture can certainly serve as a powerful single statement but a photo album can tell the story of a family member in a way that belies the medium.
For, unlike film and cinema (and social media for that matter), a photo album can stretch the bounds of time and space much in the same way that a comic book can. Indeed, many disparate images can be brought together under one roof.
Sales talk on the subject will tell us that our social media and digital files will last forever but this could not be further from the objective truth. This is far from saying that the world is soon going to enter into some post-apocalyptic scenario where electricity and, thus, digital files will be lost to the sands of time.
Rather, it is useful anyhow to think of these things as impermanent. Indeed, just as paper and pen can be eradicated by the touch of flames, so too can digital files be crushed from memory if not careful.
The apocalyptic scenarios might be a lot more simple and quiet than you think. Facebook might, for instance, change its photo retention settings, meaning that your images will be removed after a certain amount of time to save space. Where will these images be in a decade or two? These are questions worth asking if you care for your memories like so.
Photo albums are also a special gift that can act as a great way to remember new memories and special events. Far more than images from long ago collated on a computer screen, a photo album can allow each of us to share stories and add them to the evergrowing collection of experiences that we call life.
Since the invention of photography, our ability to relate and to be receptive to memories and images with just our imaginations has slowly degraded, much like an aging photograph born to harsh elements like the sands of time. Thus, such albums become a vital part of memory, triggering thoughts and feelings that might otherwise become buried by these sands.
This trend of behavior seems inevitable at this point. Thus, it would be foolish to deny the use of photo albums to trigger a memory in the face of blankness. In much the same way as learning how to keep a journal is learning how to remember.
Now more than ever, a photo album is not only extremely customizable but also extremely easy to create thanks to plenty of online services that have democratized the medium.
Gone are the days when photography was an exclusive medium and when photo albums had to be created by hand. Nowadays, creating a photo album is as easy as uploading a bunch of photographs to an online service and letting them do the rest.
Of course, this does not mean that any of the power is taken from you during this process. Far from it, for through digital means you can now manipulate your photographs to fit just about any shape and frame that you can conceive of.
Once you have done so, the online service can deliver this photo album, either to you or another recipient as a gift, lubricating each stage of the process.
Just as seeing a couch in the flesh is a more involved experience than simply seeing it online, the same goes for witnessing a photograph on a computer screen.
Even describing these photographs and the albums they might be part of can never compare to the actual feeling of flicking through them, feeling the material beneath your fingers and the weight of it in your hands.
It is in these kinds of formats that we find the last bastions of hope for tactile and sensory memory. Feeling such a thing in your hands can not only feel right in the moment but can also jog memories in an unforeseen way. It is in these kinds of ways that someone like Marcel Proust might be inspired to think about memories that might otherwise have been left entirely untouched from childhood.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to enter this once beautiful world via memory and never return.
FAQs Why Create a Photo Album
ARE PHOTO ALBUMS A GOOD IDEA?
This depends on your metric and your specific circumstances, though how could photo albums be a bad idea? Unless the album contains photos that contain memories that the recipient would rather forget, then how else could a photo album be a bad idea? In such a climate of dull attention spans and ever-blunter memories and imaginations, photos and the albums that contain them become an ever more important tool for the repurposing and jogging of memory.
DO PEOPLE STILL USE PHOTO ALBUMS?
Indeed they do, even though they might come in a different form. Whereas a photo album once meant a book full of crusting and yellowing old photos in a fairly regular and routine structure, they are now capable of more with even less effort. Instead of creating one from scratch, many instead opt to use an online service through which you can upload a bunch of photographs and with relatively little effort produce a fully-functioning photo album. The degrees of customization will vary depending on the service you use, though there are many that are fully customizable and offer plenty of opportunities for the involvement of the user.
WHY IS A FAMILY PHOTO ALBUM IMPORTANT?
In an age of ever-dull attention spans and waning memories in the face of the digital industry, photo albums become ever more important as a way of spurring memory and feeling that which once was. Likewise, in a godless society that the western world is fostering, photo albums like this can help us at least remember one of the central tenets of religion that might otherwise be forgotten - the importance of family above all. Time murders all, so until this is no longer the case, photo albums will be a necessary way to remember the dead and dying as they once were.