The Digital Era of Photos: How to Make Your Memories Last

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Today we have digital devices galore at our clutches, equipped with billions of apps and utilities that mean everything can be accessed and stored with a couple of touches. This is undoubtedly progressive and worthy of merit and it has made handling life exceedingly convenient and accessible. But how can we hold on to all of this digital information?

Almost two decades ago when I was born, my parents carried around disposable cameras with them to document our early years as a family. Even before I was born my parents used disposables in everyday life and we have our albums to this day, and this is what most people did not long ago.

Then came our camera that we had to refill with photographic film roll and following on from this, our digital camera with a memory card which we still have to this day but do not use. With these cameras, the only option to take more photos was to develop the current ones; film rolls and disposables were expensive so only the best shots were documented and printed.

Our iPhones have replaced our humble Fujifilm camera. Bar professional photography, the vast majority of people I know mostly just use their phones to take photos- it’s easy, convenient and you can take multiple photos at once. But what happens when your phone storage is full? We either delete photos or transfer them to a cloud storage device, or digitally on a laptop or computer…

The beauty of having physical letters and photo to hand is that you can hold them and cherish them. Most information stored digitally goes missing or ends up neglected, or ends up amongst a ridiculous number of files stored on a memory card somewhere and there is no fun in looking through 24601 webcam selfies that you took when you were 14.

Personally, I like the idea of storing away memories in a good old fashioned photo album. I know that if I leave all of my photos on my laptop or phone they’ll end up as a tangle of .jpg images on an old laptop that will probably be discarded within the next ten years. I carry a disposable around with me, not to take all of my photos on, but just for the novelty of capturing images you can’t see until you develop the film. Although, it feels uncomfortable to take it out in public as people will give you funny looks, most probably branding you as an archaism aficionado or just a bit of a pretentious indie twat.

I started to seek out cheap ways of printing the photos I take on my phone, as a way of retaining the photos forever and other students might benefit from this too, perhaps to put up in student houses in kitchens and bedrooms as the new academic year approaches. Especially after summer, when plenty of precious photos will have been captured. It is usually qute expensive to get photos printed, especially if you have reams of selfies and unnecessary drunken snaps on your phone through which you have to sift in order to pick the half decent ones. There are three companies, however, that I use intermittently to (admittedly) exploit their photo printing offers…

  1. FREEPRINT – This legitimately looked like one of those dodgy free apps that pop up on your Facebook feed that I would ordinarily ignore. But my mum, being a mum, went ahead and downloaded it through the Facebook link. I didn’t hesitate to tell her that there’s probably hidden purchases in the app and the photos will be lost in China somewhere, but it is actually a godsend. Every month with this app, you can print 45 photos for free straight from your phone and you only pay for delivery. They also offer an app where you can print a free photobook every month which could make a great gift.
  2. TRUPRINT – This is an online one for use with maybe old photos from cameras you have stored on a laptop or computer. They are generally pricey but if you sign up for their mailing list they sometimes do offers, such as 200 prints for £7 etc.
  3. SNAPFISH– This is another online one. I had heard of but never had used this up until the other day. There was an offer to get 100 photos printed for £1! So I made an account, and all together paid 2.99 for delivery plus the photos, which came within two days.
 

Make sure you get some good snaps over the summer guys!

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Travel, Features and Sport sub-editor 2016/17. Second year Biology with Linguistics student. Interested particularly in molecular biology, genetics and brain disease and disorders. Very disposed towards writing about things that haven't quite been explained yet.

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