“The only picture I have of my childhood is the picture of me in kindergarten,” says actress Viola Davis in a recent issue of People. Davis’ family didn’t have the money for a camera so a posed school photo is the only tangible glimpse into who she was as a child. She may be in the last generation with this problem.
I’m the first child (and first grandchild on one side) of a family that values photographs. As I started my photo organizing business, I practiced scanning and digitizing beginning with photos of me as a child. About 1,000 of them, at a rough count. Photos of me playing outside, standing by the huge stereo, playing in my room, sitting on the dining table – these are just the everyday pictures. There’s also me at Sea World, Cedar Point, Niagara Falls and visiting an aunt in Chicago.
While most people didn’t take pictures the way my mom did, smartphones now allow everyone to have a camera in their hand. In America alone, we take more than one trillion photos a year. The positive side to this is that we’re capturing people and moments we may have missed in the past. The downside is that we are not printing enough of these photos and they are being lost as technology fails or changes.
We have the opportunity to ensure everyone has multiple photos to look back on, not just one lonely school picture. Are you backing up, printing out and enjoying those pictures you take, so that future-you can stumble across them and remember your story?
Now I want to know: What’s the one photo you wish you had from your childhood?