Story and Why
article submitted to Your
The Death of Traditional Photography
Find a Way to Preserve Your Important Life Story
by Eve Barnes, © June, 2015
(note: Photographs have long been part of preserving parts of our
lives, our memories and our stories. But today's technology both makes
taking pictures easier and yet also could lead to the lost art of
sharing memories as special times with friends and family
through printed photographs kept in photo albums. Eve Barnes explores
this timely topic in this guest article - Tom Gilbert, owner and editor
of Your Life Is Your
people remember rooting around in their parent’s attic,
looking through boxes of old newspaper cuttings and photographs and
trying to find treasures and trinkets – or maybe their
fondest childhood memory is of visiting grandma on a Sunday for
lashings of cream and cakes on dainty plates, listening to stories from
times gone by and looking at faded black and white pictures.
Sadly, this generation of children are less likely to have experiences
like that since the advent of digital photography has meant the death
of ‘film’ photography and a decline in the number
of people who actually print out their snaps. The era of high quality,
instant digital photography means that people no longer have to send
off their negatives in the post and wait two weeks to see their
pictures, but it also means that many don’t print off their
pictures at all and they
simply gather unseen in virtual folders on the computer or they plaster
the pages of social media sites.
As technology develops so rapidly and social media pages get deleted,
there is no saying if all these pictures will be available in the
future and if the computer isn’t backed up, that can spell
disaster. Gone too, are many of the dusty photo albums and afternoons
looking at pictures over tea and treats. Despite digital technology
making photography more
affordable and accessible than it has ever been, it has been a
double-edged sword and led to a decline in the number of
printed pictures and in the sales of traditional photo albums as more
people rely on their memory-sticks and their smartphones.
At social functions everywhere, from the Christmas play to university
graduation, parents everywhere are using mobile phones to take pictures
– but how many of these will ever be printed?
The retail store ASDA estimates that trillions of photos are stored
solely on computers. A poll of their customers found that 70% had not printed any photos in
The situation is a tragedy for the world’s photographic
heritage and for future generations of children, for whom visits to
grandma just won’t be the same.
Jeremy Stacy, a photo buyer for ASDA, said:
"Since film cameras entered the dustbin of history most of us
haven’t been making physical copies of the pictures that we
take. In some situations, this might be OK, but if people
aren’t backing up their hard drives, there’s a real
risk that precious memories could be lost forever.”
Thankfully, there are still ways in which you can ensure that your
precious memories are passed down to your loved ones so that your life
and your achievements are known to those who matter to you and even to
people not yet born who may find your memories have historical interest.
Whether you’re getting older and the issue has taken on
sharper focus, you’ve been diagnosed with an illness or you
just appreciate family mementos, telling your life story is the perfect
way to create a legacy.
You can do this in a variety of ways:
your autobiography – This is a
person’s written account of their own life. If you have done
things that are worth writing down and you’ve got memories to
share, writing your memoirs is a great way to do it. Autobiographies
are not just for the rich and famous, they are an increasingly popular
way for people from all walks of life to get their experiences out
Writing – Another form of autobiography is the
humble journal. Keeping a diary of your life may seem insignificant but
it can provide a fascinating insight into the past for readers in the
future, as well as giving a glimpse of a bygone culture and lifestyle.
Famous examples of diarists include Anne Frank, the Rev Francis Kilvert
and Samuel Pepys.
History – Traditions were passed down by
ancestors telling stories and passing on information. In modern times
this happens less but you can still pass down your traditions
– so if you want everyone to know your secret recipes or your
best home remedies – talking about it is a timeless way to
pass on information. You can do this more effectively by recording your
voice and making a CD so that your great-grandchildren and more can
know you and learn from you.
a Video Biography – You can use a camcorder to
make a video diary of your life. This is better than relying on social
media sites where the information may not be kept or accounts may be
closed. If you use a camcorder you can create a DVD library of the
significant events in your life.
an E-Book – In this age of technology, the
humble book is losing favour and electronic reading devices like Kindle
are taking over. Writing your autobiography into an E-book software
programme can instantly bring your story to a wide audience and you
don’t have to worry about losing your writing if you
haven’t backed up your computer once it has been published.
Life is Your Story can provide advice on telling your story
and resources to help you create a lasting gift for your family,
friends and community.
more articles about lifestory writing.