Immortalizing Memories

Remember when you had to actually put film into your camera? You had to slip the cartridge into the camera, grab a hold of the tab, thread it around the advancer … thingie … hook it on and then advance it forward several frames and hope it caught?

Remember whenever you took a picture, you held your breath and hoped it turned out all right? Remember whenever you had finished a roll of film and you had to open it in a dark area because you were afraid that if you opened it too soon, or in a well-lit area you would ruin the pictures you spent quite a bit of time setting up and sweating over?

Remember the anxiety and anticipation of getting that package back from the processing place, opening the sticky tab and pulling out your pictures? Remember thumbing through them and feeling either very pleased, or very disappointed (sometimes both) about how they turned out?

Aren’t you glad we don’t have to worry about any of that stuff now?

Now, we can aim, shoot, and not have to worry about wasting film or what kind of shots we’re getting because if they stink? We can just delete them and start over.

We can even delete the less-than flattering pictures – thank goodness.

Now we can manipulate our photos – make them brighter, make them black and white, make them old, take the red out of our eyes, make our teeth just a bit whiter, adjust the brightness …

Isn’t the digital age so cool?!

The only problem with digital photos? Is LOOKING at them. Sure, you can transfer them to your computer (and you should! And don’t forget to burn them to a disk!!), but carting your computer around is mighty inconvenient when you want to show your photos off.

My parents have been using a digital camera for quite some time now. In fact, I think my dad was one of the first people to use one of those digital cameras that actually took floppy disks – remember floppy disks?? Anyway, that camera actually took some really great pictures.

So, they’ve been using a digital camera for quite a few years. And when it came time to buy them something for Christmas it hit me – a digital picture frame!

Duh, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that sooner. (You really need further proof that I’m an idiot?)

So, we bought them a digital picture frame for Christmas. And my sister bought them a digital key chain for Christmas. And my dad bought my mom a digital picture printer for Christmas.

Can you tell we’re related? We’re all on the same wavelength without ever consulting with one another. It’s a good thing we all ended up getting different things and not the same thing.

I think my parents really liked their frame. We put in their camera card and scrolled through their pictures. Then, I brought out the SD card that I made them. Well, I’m still making it, but it had enough pictures on it that it was still fun.

I’m currently converting my parents’ old photos into digital format. And when I get done, they will be able to stick the card into their digital picture frame and look at them. Their albums are old, and they are falling apart and the photos themselves, well, they’re also falling apart. We need to convert them to a format that won’t disintegrate when we pick them up. Our memories can’t turn to dust.

When my parents inserted the SD card into their frame and we started scrolling through their old pictures, they transformed before my eyes. Their faces softened and they became animated as the images whisked them back to forgotten years. They laughed and told us the story behind the photos.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching, and listening, to them reminiscence about the early years. It gave me a glimpse into a part of my parents’ lives that I didn’t know a lot about. And it warmed my heart that I had the technology available to give them those memories back.

That’s just another reason why I adore photography. The fact that it freezes time – that it’s a visual reminder of our past.

My mom is probably going to kill me for posting this picture, but I love this picture. I think it perfectly captures the essence of my mom. She’s such a beautiful person – inside and out – and I think this picture shows her beauty, her strength, her determination, her compassion, her sense of humor, her optimism, and her independence.

This is my mom, all rolled up into a black and white snapshot.

My Beautiful Mother

I’m really looking forward to immortalizing more memories.