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.