I have a couple gigs of videos of my two boys archived on my computer and YouTube and I have over 5000 pictures on Flickr, yet this week we planned ahead for haircuts, picked out a nice outfit and taught my son how to smile nicely for school picture day.
When I was growing up the school picture was the picture of record for the year. In a film camera world, photos would be taken on summer vacation, birthdays and Christmas – that was about it. Photographs were a special event sort of thing, not an every day occurrence.
The school picture was the one Nan would have on her credenza to show off to her friends. We would only see her a couple of times a year – now my sons can Skype their Nana anytime they want.
Photography is no longer a luxury. Digital means we dont have to ration out our picture taking. We can take hundreds or thousands a month and can archive just the dozens that are decent. My son knows how to take pictures using my iPhone and is eager to learn how to use my DSLR – he’s 3.
Yet picture day is still a day circled on the calendar to make sure our kids look their ‘Sunday best.’
Why is that?
School picture day should be obsolete. School yearbooks should have faded away in this YouTube era, Facebook should have made high school reunions redundant.
Yet all those still hang around and linger as old timey traditions of the past.
Still, I’ll concede it was fun to get Zacharie ready for picture day this week, but I’m not looking forward to the photo pack prices when the pictures are processed. Can’t we just each pay the photographer a couple of bucks for their time and get an email of the jpg?
Instead we’ll be urged to buy wallets, 3×5, 4×6 and 5×7 images at ridiculous prices. In the 70s and 80s we needed the school photographer to be that intermediary and print off the photos. Now, for less than $100, I can get a photo quality printer to fire off as any images on to paper as I want at the same quality.