An Observation about Photos

My iPhone was running slow yesterday.   And I didn’t have enough room to update to iOS6.  So I started deleting photos.  And then deleted some more.  And some more.  And the next thing I knew I had deleted 926 photos off of my phone and still had about 1,000 to go.

That’s a lot of photos.  Most of mine are of my daughter and/or wife.  They all make me smile (I have them saved to a computer, so I wasn’t really “deleting” them).  To go through all of the photos and remember the time of each one would take days.  There were good photos, blurry photos, fifteen photos of the same thing…The magnitude of special moments captured was a little overwhelming (although there is something to be said for the diligence required to take 48 different pictures of a two year old watching cartoons).

But because of the sheer number of photos I had, it made it easier to take some of them off of the phone.  There are still hundreds to look at.   And there will be more tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

The photos my parents have from my childhood are abundant but its nothing like now.   You used to have to get out the camera, take the photo, take the film to the developer, wait a few days, and then you got your pictures back.  There was a process to being able to remember the moments.  Maybe they ended up categorized in an album like “Trip to Disneyland ’85” or they ended up in the bottom of a drawer.   But it was different because it took time to make the whole thing happen and that in itself made each photo special.  I still remember my mother at the Fox Photo, going over every roll and deciding which ones to keep and which to toss.


Now, if you want a picture you can have one in a moment.  You can tweet it or share it or keep it to yourself.  

The number of photos that exist of my grandparents before the age of 18 can be counted on two hands.  The number of photos that exist me before the age of 18 probably number in the hundreds.  That includes photos Mom took and yearbooks and everything in between.  And to think that yesterday I had 1900 photos on my phone, most of them of a child that just woke up and wants to watch “toons.”   


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