Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dot Com: The New Era of Family Albums

Photos are a way of capturing memories so that they can be cherished and easily recalled in the future. They can also be a means of capturing emotions or sharing art/history with future generations. 

Ever since the creation of photography people have been saving photos of their important family memories in family photo albums, however the digital age has led to certain changes in the way people approach photography. Specifically, most people no longer purchase difficult to find film and instead take high quality digital pictures. Likewise, they no longer print out copies of these pictures and instead share them on the new online versions of family photo albums such as Facebook and Instagram.

While film cameras were once the choice instrument of professional photographers, they could prove to be a pain for those not adept in their use. Digital cameras have eliminated this issue, reducing risks of damage to film due to light or X-ray exposure and allowing people to take hundreds of photos at a time without worrying about needing to run to a store to buy more film. As a result of the rise of digital photography, film is now hard to find and is very expensive, whereas digital photographs with cameras and smart phones are very durable and affordable.

Creative Director JW
Likewise, people used to keep printed copies of their cherished family photos. While this made it easy to pull out a family picture album, the advent of computers allows people to keep thousands of photos just a mouse click away, and it enables them to create infinite copies which they can share with the world. As a  result, almost no one ever prints out photos any more as there is little (if any) need to do so, because the online world can view these photos easily whether they are at home or far away.

The primary way people share their new family pictures is using Facebook photo sharing options and/or using the photography smart phone app Instagram. These applications let people easily take quick pictures and share them with ease, thus supplanting the expensive hassle that is film-based photography. As a result of all of these trends, it is no surprise that few people bother with film cameras and printed photo albums in this day and age. Instead, the internet has become the greatest tool for sharing family memories for generations to come turning Instagram and Facebook into the new family photo albums.