The Process of a Picture


Taking a picture is as easy as a click of a button. You take out your phone and just click. Its so easy my own one year old has figured out how to do it. It takes little thought to take a picture. In the memoire “Memoire on the Heliograph” by Joseph Niepce which talks about the process that it took to take a picture in 1839. The process to take a picture is very detailed and takes many different objects to make the picture. And that’s not all! The process to develop the picture is just as long if not longer. It is amazing how much time and effort it took to take a picture that, in today’s world, is just a click of a button.


I mean think about the pictures that happened years ago. Camera’s could only take black and white photos for years before color photography became a thing. All the picture of my grandparents when they were younger were in black and white and that was on a camera that had film that had to be developed. That took time and effort to create. So pictures were taken for a soul purpose not just for the hell of it. These people back in the 1800’s and 1900’s had to have a specific reason to take these photos since the process was so long.

In todays world we have lost that purpose. People take photos of their lunches to  post on Facebook just to gloat what they are eating that day, as if we care what food they are putting in their bodies. Or the parents who constantly post photos of their kids because they are apparently just that cute that we have to see their face on the internet every day. I can’t tell you how often I see selfies plastered on the internet. Because really we haven’t seen your face enough that we would have to see every angle of your face. Have we lost that sense of purpose for a photograph?


I mean think about it. Photo albums will become obsolete because all of our photos are on our computers. People don’t have the time to print out photos and put them together in an album. They go to websites like Tiny Prints who does it for you and you get a beautiful album in the mail all done for you. We loose that chance to be able to make an album ourselves and put them together for a real reason. Looking back at old photo albums,  Physical photos are becoming less and less popular.

I love looking at photos from years ago. They all have a story behind them, a purpose. They did not carry their cameras every where with them so that had a true purpose. The important parts of life were documented, not everyday life. Weddings, graduation, holidays, those were the times to take pictures. Those were the times to document and go through the process of taking the picture and developing them. These were the times that were most special to them. Have we lost those special times that we document photos of our faces or things were eating as if those are memorable moments. These picture below is the picture of my grandparents on their wedding day. It is such a beautifully taken picture in black and white. There was a purpose to taking this picture. Through out all of their photo albums, there were tons of pictures because my grandfather loved to capture what he could of those special times in their lives. There are many filmed videos of my grandfather and his siblings without any sound just having the time of their lives. No phone was in their hands taking pictures but they were actually able to enjoy what they were doing. How often to we miss moments in our lives because we have to have our phones in our hands to be ready to take pictures or to use the camera to check ourselves out to make sure we look our best. That is not what is important.


Look through all the photos on your phone. Is there a true purpose to these pictures? Is there a real reason behind it? Or did you just want the attention of other people on social media to tell you how pretty you are or how happy they are you are choosing to eat healthy that day. Will we ever gain back the real reason photographs were created? Will we go back to a time were taking a picture was special not an everyday reflex.


11 thoughts on “The Process of a Picture

  1. I found your blog to be really interesting, because it brings up very valid points. Growing up as a child I LOVED looking at old photo albums, and pictures of my family’s life – the pictures they took then were to create real memories. Now, we take pictures just because we can, and just because it’s easy to. I use to create scrapbooks when I was younger, but as I aged with technology I no longer used my digital camera, or took the time to print photos, I had moved onto “bigger and better” things. This makes me wonder what it will be like when we have children of our own & they are old enough to understand. Will we pull up our Instagrams and show them how “hot” and “popular” we were back in the day lol, it just seems strange.


  2. I love this post because it is very truthful. Photography back in the day was way more complicated then how it is today. Today, anyone can take a photo of anything in the simple click of a button on their phone. I find it funny how you say your one year old is even capable of doing it. The children I babysit always ask to take photos on my phone, they love it. The simplicity of photography today is a good thing in my eyes. I love taking photos even though I may seem a bit obsessive of it at times.


  3. The technology makes it much less personal unfortunately and this type of this is definitely just pushing forward. There’s one positive aspect about this photo sharing world and its that it spurs world wide movements. The arab spring became the world wide acknowledged time because of the social media they were able to post to. Something more close to home would be the push to health. The food plates -although beyond annoying- are often highlighting health conscious choices to show others what they need to be eating instead of the micky d’s dollar menu.


  4. LOVE THIS! Growing up and still till this day I love when my family or myself find old photos laying around. Something about “hey look what I found” and seeing a photo album in that persons hands excites me. I feel as though looking through those albums, we can trace back to what it may have been like when that photo was taken or where and why it was taken. Sometime I even catch myself wonder who is that in the picture because they are such old photos, I do not know. My kids will most definitely be able to look through my albums one day because even though all of my pictures are on the computer, the ones worth something, I get printed and put away in an album each year. Technology and the use of camera phones makes photography less personal as Mike stated above and easier to do. Most children love the idea of photos and technology, hand a two year old your phone and somehow they will find the camera button and a million selfies will be taking up space on your phone. It is just the way of the world today. But my personal recommendation – get the valuable pictures printed for one day someone important to you will love to look back at them and ask the same questions based on the photo.


  5. I think your post brings up a very valuable point, not only with photography but sharing. Today, we simply upload and share images online and the whole world can see them. I think that many of our children or grand-children will never have the chance to search through photo albums the way we had to. They’ll be able to simply swipe through pictures on phones, cameras, or computers to see pictures of us. While photography has gotten much simpler, I feel like new generations will miss out on photo albums and physically holding them. While everyone is becoming screen literate, are we losing our other literacies?


  6. There is no question that the process of a picture has changed tremendously throughout the years. Sometimes I miss the old days that you could just take a picture on a disposable camera and print it out. Today, everything is in a social media ‘album.’ There is no literal photo album anymore. It isn’t a matter of turning the pages but clicking them. It kind of makes me miss my childhood and the simplicity of it all. But, these things are only transforming more and more each year. Photos continue to change and become more intense. It can be both a good thing and a bad thing. As far as the endless selfies and pictures of food, I feel your pain in the annoyance of them!


  7. I totally agree with you and this post. That accessibility that we have been given with the advancing in the camera make it so everyone can take pictures whenever they want to for whatever reason of any subject known to man. A lot of people do take advantage of the instant photo and take photos for no reason what so ever making the meaning of photography so much less then what it once was. We need to take some time to think do I really need to share this with people? Do they really care?


  8. Your blog post was really eye-opening because I am completely guilty of posting photos just to get attention from my social media followers. In retrospect, none of the pictures on my Facebook or Instagram will ever matter. However, the one’s that will matter are the one’s with meaning such as my wedding photo, or a photo of my first child, or even the day I graduate college. Photographs have definitely lost purpose throughout the years, and I would like to be more conscious of what pictures I take and post.


  9. It is annoying when we lose the moment because we are too busy taking pictures. I tend to disagree though in the aspect that I do not think it is a bad thing we are capable of taking photographs at any time. I think it is a good thing that pictures are not only saved for weddings and births. By having our cameras on our phones, a small, portable device that we always have on us, we are able to catch things that years ago there never would have been proof of. It is also a great way to keep track of your child’s growth and accomplishments. See this article-


  10. I think it really added to your blog that you included pictures of your grandparents wedding. The pictures that were taken back in the day were much more real. They had a lot of meaning to them. I think this related back to Kevin Kelly’s idea of screen literacy. After trying to find somewhere that would develop the photos for my disposable camera, I can definitely see how technology is destroying photo albums. If everyone can take a picture in one second, why would they want to print out the photos and then put them all in a photo album? They might want to but we are more busy than ever, and do not have the time.


  11. The process in taking pictures has changed tremendously, which makes me think if we even appreciate taking pictures anymore. Technology has changed the value of photo albums and just printing pictures period. Instead of taking pictures of your kids from your wallet to show your friends and co-workers, you just go right to your phone.


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