Day 53: Pandora’s Photo box

The towers will forever be in my story. My photo of them in Winter 1995.

I have been avoiding going through my photos. It’s a pandora’s box if there ever was one. Not just because photos bring up memories. There is also the classic analog to digital problem. Scanning photos is a big pain in the ass. It’s an even bigger pain in the ass when you have such an old scanner. It’s so old that it makes an incredible racket and takes forever. I haven’t gotten rid of it, because it’s so compact and stays out of my way. It also comes in handy when you randomly need to email someone a document that you had to sign – with a pen – with ink.

I could pay to have them professionally scanned. I found a place in Seattle that charges 50 cents a photo. So I could see paying someone $20 to scan 40 photos. That might be worthy. Or I could spend $60 to purchase a photo scanner. One reviewer claimed to scan 400 photos in two hours. That’s pretty impressive.

Perhaps it’s not entirely wise to try and digitize old photos. Maybe they are best left in their printed form. I am certainly not going to add to their ranks anymore because I don’t ever print photos. My husband does. He orders prints of a selection of great photos of Melody so he can hang them at his desk at work. I prefer my desktop slideshow and when I find the envelope from Kodak lying around I put them in his workbag to make extra sure he takes them somewhere else.

I do fantasize about scanning photos of people I know on Facebook. I have several albums that go through my entire college career. There are a lot of fun – no… awesome – pictures I could be tagging. Then I think, “Is that really a good use of my time? What is this process about anyway? Is it about culling through everything I own just for the sake of it? Or is it about actually learning something about myself?” (It’s odd to put things in quotes, when everything I am writing now is what I am thinking.)

The one type of photo that seemed worth sharing here are ones I took in an attempt to be creative. Photos that say something about my style and what I love to do. The photo above was taken during a black and white photography class at NYU. I have an entire binder of all the negatives and contact sheets. I hope to someday make a little mini book for myself because they capture what I loved about living in New York so perfectly.

What I ultimately know is that I need to move beyond what is stored in the house and start digging into the attic. I want to pull apart the box of work I saved from my freelance life and also pull down some of the first writing I ever did in my 5th grade diary (oh that will be fun…). Those pieces of my history are going to have a lot more impact on my future than one shoebox worth of photos and a three photo binders. I am also 10 days away from moving into the next phase. I better get cracking.

2 thoughts on “Day 53: Pandora’s Photo box

  1. Oh, I can so relate to this! I have an entire armoire filled with boxes and boxes of photos. I could spend 100 days on this project alone.
    Love your work here, HH – very insightful and inspiring!

  2. […] I developed those pics. Let’s just say I have a lot of pixels. This does not even include the shoebox of printed pics and the 3 traditional photo albums that beg to be scanned. Where do I […]

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