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Photos + My Library

by Lauren Day 3 years ago in art

Let's just talk about photos real fast.

Photos + My Library

I'm a surfer. An environmentalist. A writer. And last, and most importantly; a photographer.

I've had a camera in my hand since day 1, and I've never known anything different. Yes, I am a Gen Z'er—so I've never known anything different than digital; the curse of this generation and the epitome of instant gratification. But it doesn't mean that I don't know what film photography is. I actually own 2 film cameras and have been learning to use them recently.

When I got West (my Canon T6, who I love more than anything else in this world), I actually put him in manual mode so I would know what a manual camera is like. So yes, I did self teach myself the hard way so that I could know what my past and fellow photographers went through to take pictures. I think it's important for every photographer to know their camera inside and out and for starting photographers to know manual. So shut the eff up old people to tell me that I have it, "so easy with digital". BS. I have never put my camera in the preset modes. I have old school ideals with new school equipment all the way.

But there is another element of photography that everyone is familiar with...our iPhoto library.

Theres something so sentimental, intimate and special about each of our iPhoto libraries. Guarenteed, yours is like mine where it's overwhelming--

I currently have 13K photos with 2,347 videos in those 13K photos...

That's a lot of content.

But we can't help it. Digital has taken over. Digital makes it sooo easy to snap a million photos and offload them onto our laptops and forget about them.

But sometimes—some dayswhen you have more time, you look through them. All of them. Top to bottom. And it makes you cry. It makes you smile. It makes you laugh your ass off. It makes you remember those not-so-good times. Like ex's or times in hospitals or a now-dead relative or two here and there.

But then there's the times of sheer joy.

The beautiful beach days with wicked sunset surfs. Late nights with friends. Stupid stupid snapchat memories. More friends. Your beloved pets. Crazy fun trips. Those *little* memories that you didn't know you recorded and were recent but then you forgot about them until you rediscovered them again.


S P A C E .

Kinda amazing right?

My parents have boxes of photos.

I have a 15 inch laptop with 13K photos in it.

Both of these mediums are really cool in some sense... it's the evolution of technology. It's kind of cool to see how far we've come. But as a photographer, always capturing the moments that I believe should be captured, I have to step back and ask myself, "Why do I take pictures...what is W O R T H Y enough to be recorded?"

I choose to be picky because I see how many pictures I have and I only want the ones that really need to be recorded. But I balance it out. I shoot something and then I put down my camera and let the moment engulf me. After all, the greatest camera available is your memory.

I worry about my generation.We're so caught up in recording every moment that we're actually going to miss and forget our memories. When we're old, we're going to look back and not remember anything because we chose to rely too much off of our phones. Instagram. Snapchat. Our other other cameras.

We rely so heavily off of these devices to capture the moments that we're living, that we've become swallowed by it's grip. No one thinks twice about recording something in the middle of dinner—just as long as it was memorable and 'gram-able. 30 years ago, would anyone have done that?

Now, everyone carries a high quality camera in their pocket so everyone assumes that they are a photographer. Hell, I'm probably one of those too! I started off that way at least!

Anyone can be a photographer now! It's so easy! We have high quality phones with high quality cameras to post on any social media platform that we choose to so that we be Insta-famous.

That's the Millennal/Gen-Z dream right? Crazy when you think about the very idea of being "Insta-famous".

But I think its important for our generation to remember things. To remember our old photos. Sometimes, we need to look through our iPhoto libraries and have a good laugh, cry, smile, whatever. Maybe delete some photos to make room for the new ones that we all know we're going to have. Remember to keep the beautsthe special ones. Print some our favorites out so that we can feel themtouch them in our handsand remember them forever. Maybe even scrapbook some of them. Or put them around the house, apartment, etc.

Photography is a lifestyle for me. Photos are my choice of medium becausebecause you can actually make a purpose for photos. They're useful. Other forms of art to me just aren't. You can use them for remembering the little things. The big things. The everyday average or the once-in-a-lifetime special. Photography is there for you for capturing life at its finest. Paintings can't say that they serve that use. Paintings are done by hand, so every painting is a different interpretation of life.

Photos are the true interpretation of life. They are real life. I have a hard time with justifying for paintings...or any art form like that.

With paintings it's like, okay, so you make a painting. It's really good and you think you're amazing. It's beautiful and all that jazz. Then you're like, "Okay, I'm the best painter. Let's try and sell this".

So you put it up locally at an art exhibition or try and sell it on Etsy or something like that and it just—sits there. For months.Then you're wasting money and time and energy.

Then your beautiful painting either gets

  1. thrown back to you which then you hang in your house for a while...until you get sick of it because let's be honest—tastes change or
  2. you then regift your old painting to a friend.

Let's assume that it's option B for storytelling sake.

So you friend gets ahold of your painting. Says "Thank you, I love it!" and all that. Hangs it up in her house for a while. Then one day she comes home from work and gets a hankering to redesign the house because she's had a stressful day and want's everything to be clean and minimalistic. She has no room for your painting in her household anymore.

So she then passes it down to an old relative...who then tries to sell it and sells it for like, $4, so they can go buy their grand-slam special at Denny's.

And then that guy who bought it off of your friend's old relative takes it to an auction and says that it's rare and sells it for like a grand or some shit like that.

Then the stupid rich person who has nothing better to do with their life than buy expensive paintings for their mansion has changing tastes—just like you did in the first place—and chooses to give it to some upscale Goodwill in South County that then sells it for $11.

Because that's how much paintings usually go for at Goodwill—trust me, I know.

Then one day when you have to babysit your too-cool-for-school thrifty niece who needs some more clothes for the next upcoming semester and decides to drag you along to go thrifting with her.

You, her old aunt, then see your old painting there, sitting in a corner, collecting dust and kinda cry about how you thought you were awesome at painting and now you're stuck with all of these brushes and canvases and no time to do anything with them. Also, your painting is probably going to end up in a landfill, killing the environment with all of that paint on it, which sucks even more.

I don't know, this is what I think happens to paintings 98% of the time. It's sad, but just think about the true life cycle of paintings. Don't you always see someone's past painting hobby in some Goodwill? Just, sitting there? I find it sad and wasteful, which is why I do photography.

Yeah, yeah. Some printed photos can be that way too, but for the most part, does the majority of the world print their photos anymore? No. We keep them locked up in our iPhoto library for only ourselves to enjoy or for our 156 Instagram followers...

Either way, photography is purposeful and digital. Placeable or irreplaceable. And I like that aspect of new age photography. But photos, photography, and all of our iPhoto libraries are something we should cherish.

They're our form of our parents closets of boxes of polariods.

I'm not a very sentimental person, but I am with my photos. Every time I open up my iPhotos, I cry and smile a little bit. Kind of like that Chevy Chase scene in Christmas Vacation where he gets locked in the attic and has on all of this mother's old clothes with a projector in his hand, crying and smiling at an old movie of his christmas as a young boy.

Hey look!

Another reference on photography and time!

Projectors?! Film!

You vibin' kids??


Anyways. I think that digital photos are a blessing and a curse. But overall, photography is a blessing. At least to me and my life. It's shaped a large part of who I am and I don't think I can be apart of any other art form.

So today's lesson kids; take some time today to look through your iPhoto libraries. You won't regret it.

Lauren Day
Lauren Day
Read next: 4 Ways To Find Inspiration As A Beginner Photographer
Lauren Day

i surf. i travel. i take some photos here and there. i life alot.

i think. i write. i think some more.

then something cool happens where i write until my bones ache.

end of story.

See all posts by Lauren Day