How many pictures do you have on your phone? Well, I ‘m creeping ever so close to the 13,000 picture mark on my phone. No exaggeration. Thank goodness for cloud accounts and bigger storage cards.
I have fully come to terms that I am “snap-happy.” Even my kids know the drill. That doesn’t mean they cooperate of course. Housed on my phone are dozens of “outtakes” from nearly every time I’ve tried to take a nice picture of them together.
Some bemoan me for eagerly wielding my phone to take a photo. “There’s Robin, taking another picture.” Most don’t seem to mind. I’m quite aware of my “picture problem,” but I have no plans to change my ways.
As long as I can remember, I have been drawn to old photos. My grandmother had one album in particular that meandered over many decades and generations. Whenever I visited (which was often as she lived next door), I would open the album and study the faces of those in the photos, clothing, and surroundings. That album was filled with pictures of my grandmother as a child, her parents as teenagers, my father and his siblings as babies. I felt as though I was taking a step back in time.
No matter how many times I looked at that album, my grandmother would have a story to offer. I think she enjoyed my enthusiasm for her memories. Once for my birthday, she created a “historical” album of family photos for me.
The allure I had of pictures was not confined to the very old. When I lived at home, I’d peruse photo albums from my parents’ wedding or from when I was a baby. It was easy for me to lose myself in these pictures for hours. I chuckled over bad fashion (so many polyester shirts), fondly remembered the old cars (my Dad loved his Camaro), and lamented over questionable hair trends (serious 80s perm action).
My love of taking pictures probably began with my first little purple Kodak camera that I received one Christmas. I remember vividly how excited I was to use it — snapping photos of anyone and anything. My mother once scolded me for using it to take pictures of my stuffed animals with it. Film was pricy after all.
As childhood gave way to the teenage years, I was the one snapping pictures at prom and rushing to develop them the next day. There was satisfaction in dropping off that roll(s) of film at a one-hour photo mat. In the early 2000s, my now husband, then boyfriend, gifted me my first digital camera. Seeing immediate results in all their 2.0-megapixel glory, and not being limited to a roll of 24 pictures was life-changing. With that camera, we perfected “selfies” (although we certainly weren’t calling them that 15 years ago). We were ahead of our time!
With the advent of camera phones, capturing the next family memory is at my fingertips. Today I post my favorite photos on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook’s “On This Day” tears at my heartstrings when pictures of my children resurface to remind me of how tiny they were, or how rested my husband and I looked in our pre-children days. Not to mention that all of my pictorial documentation over the years means I can really own #tbt. My husband owns a DSLR camera and enjoys taking photos as a hobby. I cannot help but occasionally tool around his camera too, even if I don’t understand its full functionality. I am drawn to anything that can capture a memory!
Times may have changed but the original appeal remains: I’m a sentimental sap at heart and photographic memories are precious to me.
Perhaps one day I can be telling my own grandchildren stories about my pictures. Even if I don’t, I have plenty of fond memories wrapped up in them for my own enjoyment. So, yes, I take a lot of pictures of my children, my husband, friends, family, co-workers, places we’ve been, fun things we’ve done, and sometimes even what I’m eating. And I’m not going to apologize for it. Many thanks to everyone who puts up with this quirk of mine. It makes me happier than you probably realize.