When it comes to photographs, I’m old school. My favourite images from holidays, gigs, pub evenings, lunches with friends, road trips, and quirky places get printed and painstakingly attached with photo corners to the pages of huge albums. Over the years I must have filled well over 30 albums and there is no end in sight. Although I hardly ever look at them – every couple of years if that – it’s comforting to know that the prints are there, preserved for the future in a reliable, old-fashioned way. Maybe that’s the reason I felt surprisingly unconcerned about the recent death of the hard drive – the one that happened to contain all my photos!
As a professional photographer, hubby has backed up his images on several hard drives, whereas my attitude towards my own snapshots has always been much more casual. I take photos, upload them, delete them from the camera, choose a few for Facebook, and get a selection printed – at some point. Just before the ‘hard drive incident’, I had ordered prints from last summer so there is a chance I will have permanently lost nearly a year’s worth of images. Surely I should feel more upset about it! My personal socio-historical archive will have a significant gap in it, and although I can fill it to some extent with pictures from Facebook, the social media albums contain only a fraction of what I have taken.
Maybe the potential loss of the images doesn’t bother me much because I’m not overly precious about them. To me photographs are primarily memory triggers: they are like a diary without words, reminders of good times and life’s events. If I lose some photos, I will still have memories of the events and occasions until, with time, some of those memories fade, get blurred, or completely disappear. And that’s ok.
PS Hubby has contacted an IT guru who should be able to resurrect the hard drive or at least rescue the data. You never know, I might need a new album soon after all.