I Love Today’s Tech, But I Long For Real Photos


I miss photographs — the paper kind that you could hold in your hand or paste into an album or hang on the wall.

I mean, I prefer the cell phone method of taking photographs — reach into your pocket, take out the rectangle, snap the pic, done. And I certainly don’t miss standing in line at the drug store, waiting to drop off a roll of film and then waiting in line again to pick up the prints. And again if I decided to get reprints. And again to pick up the reprints.

And I do wish cell phones had been invented when I snapped that rare picture of my father and his three brothers all together in the same state, in the same room, at the same time. That would’ve been a classic if, after everyone had left, my uncle hadn’t “helped out” by flipping open the back of the camera, exposing the film and losing our only record of that moment. Sigh.

I take a lot of pictures. Based on what I see on the Internet, everyone does. There are pictures out there that never should’ve been taken, much less shared. No one would’ve gotten a single reprint of them, yet they are now cluttering up cyberspace forever.

I take so many pictures that my cell camera frequently goes on strike, refusing to grant me storage for even one more. That’s when the whole lot of them are downloaded and preserved onto a flash drive.

You know the drill.

I have drawers full of these flash drives. I have them in every color. On one or two of them, I have made a note of what they contain. The rest are just thrown in there anonymously, because I’m in a hurry and need to free up my camera function because a wedding starts in less than an hour, and I have to go now!

That poor bride. After I e-mail her a few of my favorite shots, the rest of her wedding is doomed to spend the rest of its days in a drawer, rubbing flash drive shoulders with my grandson’s first few days of life and 10 billion photos of Walt Disney World.

And, speaking of grandsons, do he and I ever sit on the couch together, looking at an album and reminiscing about the fun we had on Space Mountain? We do not. He doesn’t even know what he looked like as a toddler. That version of him is stuck in a drawer.

After I’m gone, will my relatives divvy up these photos for posterity? Hardly. Who has the time? No, my flash drive images are headed for the garbage can just like the rubber bands and pencil stubs and everything else in that drawer.

My only hope of getting anyone to even slide one into their laptop is to label each one “Last Will and Testament” — without a date.

And that’s what I’m going to do.