I’ve loved taking photos since I was a teenager. I’m fairly certain that the pink Le Clic disc camera was my first camera.
I was looking through some old photos recently and was reminded that I haven’t printed any photos since 2008, besides the occasional photo book of a particular event. Darn you, digital camera! Sometimes I miss the mystery of film…not knowing how your photos turned out until you had them developed.
I made a pact with myself to start ordering prints from the last eight years of my life after recently visiting the George Eastman Museum in my hometown.
I hadn’t been to the museum in years, possibly decades. This seems odd for someone who loves photography, but usually my visits to see family are too brief as it is and there is no time to “sightsee.”
The museum is partly exhibits and partly George Eastman’s house, which he had built in 1902–1905.
The museum exhibits were interesting. My favorite was Jason Lazarus’s Too Hard to Keep, which was part of a bigger exhibit. Since 2010, he has invited people to send him photos that they didn’t want to keep but they didn’t want to destroy. Many of the photos in the room had no description; they were just adhered to the wall. A slide projector on the floor projected slides nowhere. (Some people ask for the photos not to be shared.)
At the holidays, the museum fundraises by holding gingerbread house and wreath auctions. Thirty-plus houses and wreaths were on display and visitors could bid on each of them. This was one of my favorite gingerbread houses:
The house itself is beautiful. George had exquisite taste.
As I walked through the house, I wondered what George would think about phone cameras. I think it’s “too easy” to take photos with a phone camera. And what do we all do with the photos? Recently, I’ve quelled my desire to capture every single beautiful moment just because it’s convenient. I saw a breathtaking sunset during a flight a few weeks ago. As I reached for my phone, I said to myself, “Just enjoy the moment. Don’t try to capture it.”
I saw this question in the museum and answered “no.” And so I begin the process of printing out hundreds of photos from the last eight years.
Do you print out your photos?