ink on paper: having and holding real photos

It’s a funny thing, this technological world we live in today.
How mostly our insides are lived on the outside, so they don’t resemble insides very much anymore.
The public sphere trumps all of the spheres and we’re bombarded with the pressure of identity creation, and content production.
All this, swirling around in my thoughts for months doesn’t have a lot to do with todays post, or it has everything to do with it. (And I am quite aware of the irony that all those swirling inner thoughts are shared out here, in the public sphere!)

Last year I spent months cleaning up my iPhone’s camera roll. I haven’t had a new phone in about five years, so it was full – full of blurred shots I should have deleted, screenshots of recipes I’d never tried and just a whole bunch of junk really. So every now and then I’d sit down and delete a few hundred, keeping only the good ones. It took ages, just going through slowly whenever I had a minute or two.

Then I backed them all up, moved them off onto my external hard drive.
Which felt like a feat in itself, but now what?
Five years worth of photos sitting inside a little rectangular piece of metal.

I’m a big fan of print anything. Books, magazines, photos—they’re all better in their non glossy, tangible, dog-earable form. I wrote this article a couple of years ago, about printing photo books, which, to be honest I haven’t really done a whole heap more of. Other than calendars for the grandparents every year, I haven’t printed much at all.

Until I realised that all those memories were going to be stuck in the dark and bottomless land of the digital unless I did something about it – and made it easier for myself to do continue to do that something again and again.
That something was a photo book, which should hit my letterbox soon, and I can’t wait!
It’s full of 2018’s best memories, both from my real camera and from my iPhone.

And I’m developing a system, where I archive all my photos, iPhone included, into a folder to make it easier to print the coming year’s photos into a book. I’m also trying to name them instead of leaving them generic, so that I can find what I’m looking for on a whim.

Then, I decided that wasn’t good enough, that I need to start printing and framing for my walls.
So I started with two.
I’ve never really been that person that has family photos on the walls, but I would like to try to be at least a little bit like her.
So I found a disc with my wedding photos, found the one photo of all of them that I actually like (they are actually all horrible, I hate them!) edited it so that it was in black and white, and sent that one and a photo from our holiday off to Fred Snow for printing.

My prints are stunning. The texture is so beautiful I was hesitant to hide them behind the frames.
But frame them I did—thank you Ikea—and they have made me so, so happy. The biggest is from our recent trip north, and the spot we climbed down and snorkelled, the five of us all together in this secluded bay at Sandy Cape. And as we climbed out we’d spotted a sea lion who’d come to see what all the fuss was about!

They’re sitting alongside a beautiful print of the ocean at Gracetown by my crazy-talented bestie. Then there’s an original watercolour that was painted especially for me by an incredibly talented artist I’m thankful to know – it came with a timely word of prophecy that I’ll never forget. The framed print of sunset at Cottesloe has the Indiana in the background, which was our wedding venue – it was a gift from my parents for our first wedding anniversary. And my inky words—reminding me that this little two-man team I’m in is the greatest in the world.

Now, it feels a little bit more like home, a little bit more like us.

All of that to say: lets take photos to capture memories, not just for the sole purpose of sharing them online. Print them, frame them—share them—let your memories escape your phone camera roll.


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