Sunday, April 2, 2017

Photo Albums

The other day, I was in search of an old memory.  My mind could place where the item was & I had hoped it would be where I last thought it should be.

To the plastic bin tote I went.  Yes, this is where it was.  I had accumulated so much over the years that there were no longer room on bookshelves to hold them so they all went into the bin totes.

What's in the totes, you ask?  Remember photo albums?  Yes, actual printed photos you hold in your hands. The pictures we printed, held & admired for days at the memory of the shot taken.  The anticipation of how that shot would look when taken had to be held until the final day the pictures were picked up at the photo processing store. Sometimes you were pleasantly surprised, but more often than thought, (at least in my case), would be left a little disappointed that maybe the auto-flash on the camera didn't work right in that setting or yet, worked too well so that there was too much of a light flash around your subject.  Or the dreaded disappointment that maybe the anticipated picture never even took & there you are with a blank, black 4x6" of glossy paper in your hand to show for your efforts.

My love of looking at pictures goes back as far as I can remember.  My grandmother always carried a handful of pictures in her purse to share with the family the next time she'd visit.  Often than not, these were loose pictures she carried.  No mini-photo albums, not sorted.  Maybe in an envelope.  There were different sized pictures she'd carry to brag about when showing that were sent to her.

People took pictures with a real camera.  Took them to be developed (unless you were really high-tech & used a Polaroid.  Instant development!).  Then they'd also maybe take a little time to write a message on the back of the printed photo, along with a handwritten note, to address to you & mail that you might get in a few days.  Your mail could be enlightened to see the picture of your loved one on their latest vacation or maybe the grand-kids' latest school activity.  Often school pictures of your little tyke were shared in this way with family & friends.

As in my case, not only did I love to look at pictures, I loved taking pictures.  Hence, there became my next step.  Albums.  In the case of Grandma carrying loose pictures & sharing the pictures off great-relatives pictures that were kept in metal cookie tins, I determined to keep my pictures in albums.  I could almost remember which particular picture was in a particular album for quick look-see.  However, reality sets in when one gets ready to move & box up items.  Albums.  Lots of albums!

In the digital age, we no longer have to worry about physical space or clutter of all & every picture we take or keep.  Instantly can preview a picture to see if it's to our liking, deleting if it's not.  Editing along the way & adding scrapbook-like features without all the extra messy, time-consuming artsy-crafty hands-on experience.  Share instantly with friends & family on social media so anyone can see or screen-shot your photos to their own device immediately so they can show to their friends/family.  No personal mail with an individual's handwriting to remember them by.

Yes, I still get printed copies of my pictures.  Force of habit, I suppose (& fears that the "cloud" could delete my life's pictures).  However, I no longer have to go to my local photo shop where we could only wait one hour to get a roll developed.  I preview on my digital camera, upload it to my favorite picture site where they can hold all my digital albums.  I can have the date set on my camera so the pictures are dated.  If one takes the time, you can also type in the description of your pictures so that they will print it on the back for you. All done & delivered to your mailbox.

However, actual albums are scarcer to find in your local stores these days.  Scarcer is shelf-space for years worth of pictures.  The albums were moved into plastic bins for storage.  Now I find myself having prints stored in bins without being in albums.  Just like in Grandma & Great-grandma's days!

(photo purchased from Fotolia)


Miss Mae said...

Oh, how I remember all of this! With the flashbulbs that cameras had, you wondered about "red eye" too, double exposure, etc.

What fun! :)

And, yes, that expectation of the wait wondering when those pictures would be developed. And you couldn't wait until you got home. As soon as you grabbed that package, you tore right into it then and there (right there, either at the drug store, or at Walmart), and feasted your gaze on those photos. A second, third, and even fourth, look would come later in the comfort of your home.

Hand held photos are the best. They help to preserve not only the memories of our own lives, but of the times in history.

This post really brings back good memories!

Five Acres Farm and Stuff... said...

Fantastic! I am going to love this. Good job!! ~Karen

Deanna H said...

Awesome! I love to hold pictures in my hand and look through photo albums. Great post!

Amber Lanier Nagle said...

I have a cedar chest full of photo albums. Great post! Took me back in time.

Lady Vintage said...

Thank you for stopping by & commenting!

Laurean Brooks said...

I had the 110 camera with the flash, and the Poloroid camera in the 70s. I must have taken hundreds of pictures then. Before my son was thought of, I took pictures of the litter of puppies our dog had.

I took them to work and showed everyone my "babies." LOL.

Now, I have a cell phone that takes pictures, but I have not idea how to get them into the computer. One is my hubby in the recliner, his feet up, and our cat sleeping across his legs.

Gina said...

Oh, what a terrific topic! So glad I'm not the only one with plastic tubs filled with photos!

Years ago, my beloved father advised me to write the date on the back of the photos, and even though I knew it wasn't necessary because I KNEW I'd NEVER FORGET the day and place of the shot, I did it.

Soon it became an easy, quick habit - and boy am I glad, because there's no way I'd ever remember the dates and places now!

I look forward to getting them all in nice albums soon. Thank you for a beautiful post!

Miss Mae said...

Thank you both, @LaureanBrooks and @ReginaAndrews for coming over to comment, and for loving old photos in photo albums. :)

J Q Rose said...

And bow many times did I take in a roll of film to be developed only to find I had the store develop a new roll!! Yes, no pics on it. Great topic.

Lady Vintage said...

@Laurean Brooks - my first "real" camera of my own was the disc camera. I remember buying the cartridges instead of rolls of film for it. Not the best way to take pictures but at the time, thought it was something! We also had a 35mm camera that didn't have a flash so took pictures outside. However, the pictures were such an improvement! :)

@Gina - glad to know I'm not the only one who has been using the bins too! & yes, agree with you too about how you think you'll remember where/when the pictures were taken. Few years later, not so much. ;)

@J Q Rose - Oh, no! Yes, that could happen with those rolls. Remember having to keep the used ones separated from the new rolls in their little containers. Then that dread of making sure you had a spare roll on hand if you got to the end of the other roll, that camera clicker not advancing just as everyone's ready for a pose! We all had to have a bit more patience those days. :)