The Importance of Photographs – From the Desk of Future Generations

February 15, 2019

Today, we live in an instant world, our cameras are in our phones and we can take as many pictures as you want, stored digitally and printed basically at-will…..at home or via online ordering service.

However, this wasn’t always the situation. Photography isn’t as old as you may think. Photography was only invented in 1839 and didn’t become widely popular and available to the masses until during and after the American Civil War.

During its infancy, the time it took the take a single picture was complicated and time-consuming, one reason why no one smiled.

As time went on, photo quality improved and the entire process was refined. People could buy their own cameras and film… including film that developed itself instantly. However, there was a limit on the amount of pictures that could be taken as you could only take as many pictures as you had available film.

We also live in an age where genealogy is more popular than ever thanks again, thanks to advancemens in technology. Curious who your great great great great grandmother (technology referred to as your fourth great grandmother) was? Hello websites that dedicate themselves to indexed databases of records that can be 100+ years old.

Want to see a picture of that fourth great grandmother?  Well…..that’s going to be a little bit more tricky.

Step 1: Take the picture!

If we talk specifically about my fourth great grandmother, she would’ve lived between the years 1830-1910. Well within the range of photography as we know it.

Step 2: Label the pictures!

My fourth great grandmother very well have had numerous pictures and portraits taken of her. Someone could have them or they could be online somewhere. Unlabeled. UCK! SEO lecture! If they were labeled with text that could be picked up by SEO or an internal website search, they’d be easy to find.

Step 3: Photo storage

If her pictures exist, where are they? Box, album, online, attic…… unlabeled, mislabeled, damaged, etc. I know you can’t mandate what happens to your personal belongings after you die, a will can only do so much, but make sure these treasures go somewhere. If family doesn’t want them, find a resource that does.

Your curiosity is relying on your willingness to pound the digital pavement, call people, visit repositories and possibly think well outside the box to get your answer.

Ultimate Lesson

One day, your picture collection will have the same thing in common with pictures from long ago, memories of the previous generations. Take care of the pictures you take and label them!