The Importance of Dusty Shoe Boxes of Creased & Faded Pictures

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I’ve always been a future oriented person. Out with the old. In with the new. Always forward. On to the next one. So when it came to photography, I’ve always focused on digital. Who wants a dusty ol’ shoebox full of creased and faded prints? One small disaster and they’re gone forever.

But I’ve changed my perspective.

You see, my mom died last fall. I found myself going through a dusty ol’ shoebox of creased and faded pictures. Going through these pictures was at time stressful. Sometimes painful. And yet at other times, comforting and cathartic. I felt a lot of feels. We put a bunch of pictures on a poster board and had them at her funeral. More people felt even more feels. It occurred to me that this process of looking at physical, printed pictures was so necessary. What if all my moms pictures had been scattered across 50 years of social media? Or even if they were all on her computer will I sit down and sift through tens of thousands of pictures? And even if I did, is that a desirable process? You need dusty boxes of creased and faded pictures.

Oh you WILL have a crap load of digital pictures. Some on your computer. Some stored on this site or that app. A few hundred on that old phone in the drawer. And maybe some memory cards you stashed in an old salt shaker. Digital is fine. Digital is awesome. I love digital. But you gotta get that dusty box. You have to print what’s important to you. You need to be able to touch it. You need something to grab before the flood. You need to be able to glance up at the picture on the wall, not type in a link. You need something for the magnets on your refrigerator to hold up. You don’t even need to get fancy. You don’t need to scrapbook or even organize. Just make sure that you are printing the best moments.

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