The New Age of the Photograph

I know that I am not the only person who uploads photos of what I am wearing, I am not the only person who re-tweets a photo cheesy covered tator-tots and I am not the only person who ‘likes’ different photos on Faecbook. Between all of the thumb flipping and frantic mouse click I found myself thinking “Social media/The internet has changed the meaning of a photograph”.

Do not get me wrong, I am very much a person who lives in the moment but I do catch myself saying “oooh! I want to get a photo of that!”. This is followed by me pulling out my phone and enjoying the moment through the lens versus the moment right in front of me. It is the idea that we want to share something with the people we care the most about…at least that is what photos used to mean. Now a days we upload photos to brag, reminisces about the past (hello #TBT) or just to get a few likes. Remember how a photo used to cost $0.30 to print? Now it cost nothing to share moments and memories with family and friends.

We are in an age where photos are social events instead of conversation pieces. People do not take a photo solely to remember moments, they take photos to take photos. If people had to pay for the development of film, the amount of photos taken in the world would reduce greatly. I know that if I had to pay to see a photograph of my last meal I would not waste time taking those photos. But, I do not have to worry because it is saved in my phone and/or put up onto Instagram. On the flip side, there is a great benefit for any type of photograph to be at our fingertips!

The fact that we can get onto the internet and find a photo of anything is amazing. That is the biggest benefit of this new age of the photograph. I know that I have learned about cultures, animals and different fashion styles through photos on the internet. There is almost a new way of sharing photos, instead of printing and mailing them we tag our friends in the comment of a photo or shoot our family emails with photos attached.

Like any change, it is hard to think that some people will never experience the event of holding a photo and looking at the bottom corner to see when it was taken or pasting it onto your school binder! But with change comes great things. I think that the new age of photographs is wonderful. It is a transition that I am luckily enough to experience, but sadly not one that kids born after 2000 will get to see. I cherish old photos that I have printed but love that I can hop onto Instagram to see things happening half way across the world.

You better smile - this photo will cost me money!

You better smile – this photo will cost me money!

P.S. To think that a child born today will never understand the pun of ‘Shake it like a polaroid picture’ – tragic.


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