On Print

I grew up in Central Saanich, on top of Stelly's X Rd. We had a great set up there, My Grandparents lived in the downstairs suite of our home and were always available for a game of Rummy, or a shortbread cookie and a little visit.

Even though my grandma's space was mere cubic feet from my own, her realm was instantly recognizable. The tabletops were lined in doilies and then covered in franed photographs - old and new. I used to peruse the images for familiar faces and beg the the stories that accompanied these images. My favourites were the pictures of my dad and his brothers as young boys, dressed up in their Sunday best, lined up by age, and stone-faced, just aching for the photographer to depart so they could get dirty on the farm again.

One of my most cherished memories from my Grandmother was an afternoon shortly before she died where we looked at some of these pictures and she told me what felt like every funny story from her well-lived life.

Photography must have been a sacrifice for them. They lived on a farm in rural Saskatchewan. So, having portraits taken was naturally an inconvenience for them as well as a monetary strain. Yet, this sacrifice and strain lined the tables and walls and albums of Grandma's world even 40 years later.

Photographs are much much more accessible these days. I think I have 30,000 pictures on my hard drive right now (and I'm not going to tell you from when.... you won't believe me). The irony of our contemporary world is that even though my children are members of the most photographed generation, they are also the generation without any photographs to hold.

Perhaps you, like me, have 10 million images of your kids stored on your phone, on your computer, on hard drives and even on the cloud, but none in your photo boxes, none in your albums, and none on your walls.

And none perserved.

There was a point in time when we used to think our memories were the safest possible stored in our technology. Computers and drives and clouds had to be safer than boxes and frames. But are they?

Well, that is a point to argue with the floppy disk.

As technology advances, the technology it leaves behind becomes obsolete and even inaccessible. And so does whatever we stored inside that technology. Soon, we find ourselves with millions of photos of our loved ones that we no longer have the resources to open. We are so afraid of our photos degrading or being damaged over time but somehow, we ignore the very real possibility that they are disappearing right before our eyes.

Turns out, the best way to preserve and safeguard out photographs ins't CDs, USBs or even the cloud, It's the good 'old fashioned prints of our grandparents that will keep our images safe. Quality prints in frames, albums or memory boxes are far safer than their digital counterparts.

So, let get those memories printed and preserved.

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