It wasn’t too long ago that the only way you could reminisce or enjoy photos was in photo albums. Most people’s childhoods or other milestones have been memorialised in photo albums.
They were, and still are, a labour of love; they often took hours to put together. However, they are becoming scarce thanks to the rise of social media.
Photographs now live in the digital space because people want to share them with everyone immediately. And so, photo albums have become somewhat of a lost art which arguably should see a resurgence.
They Become Heirlooms
Most photo albums are passed down in the family, and it is the only way that some people can see their heritage or get to know their ancestors. So gathering around a photo album should be a treasured experience, and often it is accompanied by an oral history of the family, which otherwise would be forgotten. These tangible artefacts are priceless, and they offer much more longevity than social media accounts which will eventually become obsolete and all information lost – look at myspace, Bebo or Piczo.
Most photo albums have a theme, and all of the photos are from a single event or time period, such as wedding albums or baby’s first albums. Thus, they preserve the details and allow those who look a chance to relive those experiences whether they were there in person or not. In addition, the progression of the day or timeline is presented in an easy-to-follow format which often encourages memories of the day to come to the surface that perhaps would have been forgotten otherwise.
They are Personal
When you create a photo album, you get to choose what goes in it. Whereas on social media sites, you have no control over what other people post, and you can be tagged in all sorts. You get to dictate what photos make it into the album and which ones you would rather discard. Photo albums are entirely customisable; you can create one that fits your style or aesthetic down to the shape of the photos themselves. For example, the square photo printing from Inkifi mimics the view and cropping that most social media sites require making them more versatile when building the photo album. They are also incredibly affordable as often the price of printing photos can put people off.
They Offer an Experience
Scrolling through a photo album on Facebook or someone’s Instagram feed can sometimes feel mindless; very rarely is it an engaging experience. Whereas a proper photo album is. There’s the texture of the cover, the smell of the pages, the vivid colours, and the sound the pages make when you turn them. Photo albums are also universally enjoyable, which means that they can bridge generational gaps and act as a bonding experience for the whole family.
In today’s society, most people prefer instant gratification, which is what they get from social media sites. However, these sites won’t last, and they don’t offer your descendants the chance to see if you share similar facial features or characteristics. Photo albums are the purest form of nostalgia, and their creation needs to continue.