As a child growing up in the city of Lagos, physical photo albums were the rave. They were fascinating. As a teenager, I remember going through my parents’ old albums from back when they were single. Yes; those albums full of black-and-white pictures with dad in his bell bottom 70s-style trousers and mom in her mini skirts and high-heeled shoes that were heavy enough to use as a sledgehammer (what are those shoes called again?).
Dad was a shutterbug and almost always had a functional camera in the house. From him, I learnt how to load 35mm films into cameras, shoot, and then take the used film roll to the photo studio for development.
As black-and-white pictures gave way to full colour shots, photo albums became even more exciting to have. There were pictures of everything – child naming ceremony, birthday celebrations, and the occasional trip to the beach. All these pictures were often neatly and proudly put into one or more albums and made available for guests to flip through. However, the last few years of social media have drastically changed the picture, literally. Like everything else hardware, the hardcover photo album is fading away. With lots of people taking the huge majority of their pictures with digital cameras and mobile cameras, and most of the images never getting printed out, the physical photo album is dying.
For lots of people, their albums are online – Facebook, Instagram, Picassa, and the like. These days, you do not need to visit a friend’s home to have access to their photo albums. Just visit their Facebook or Pinterest pages. Personally, I now have years of digital photos stored on my external hard drive. That is where my album is. Most of it. I still have a couple of physical albums from the pre-social era. But besides those, I do not remember the last time that I purchased a photo album.
If you have a digital album – online or offline, how do you entertain friends and visitors when they come visiting? How about hooking up your hard drive to the DVD player via USB, so you can have them flip through on your TV screen? I am thinking of that, but it means that I have to sift through my collection of pictures to determine which will make the cut for a good presentation to family and friends. If you have your albums on one of the online photo platforms, you should be able to do something similar and have your guests enjoy them on your TV’s big screen.
Your thoughts please? Where are your photo albums and how do you share them?