Disappearing History

Disappearing History

I love digital photography, shooting, scanning, editing, printing , etc.  A lot of my clients don’t seem to be aware that photos taken these days, will mostly not exist for future generations to view and use.  In the distant future genealogists will find a great void in photographic material.  Why?  Because people no longer print their photos.  I have friends who have thousands of photos on their phones.  When they pass, no one will have access to them.  Many other people keep images on their hard drives.  Hard drives fail and even if not, when they pass those hard drives will be wiped clean, recycled or end up in the land fill.  To me this is the greatest disaster to befall historians and genealogists of the future.  You may be thinking, “Well he’s in the printing business, he’s just trying to promote his trade”.  That is partly correct.  I was in the one-hour photo business for 23 years and in those days every roll of film had every frame of film printed.  I no longer do mass production printing.  My business is a custom enlargement service.  So most of the images I encounter are by people who treasure them. Sure those one-hour images probably went in a shoebox or album and yes that box could end up in the dumpster or burn in a fire.  But the chances that someone might come along and rescue those images for whatever purpose was much better than it is today. How many Vivian Maier’s are out there today?  

If you feel you don’t need to print your work, at least archive it in multiple places and with multiple types of technology.  20 years from now a lab will look at the CD you handed him and say, ”What’s this?”  Get my drift?  

There are still labs that print from digital sources, maybe you don’t want to print the 5,000 images from your last outing, but at least save the people photos.


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