I don't know about you, but these days I take a ridiculous amount of pictures. Do you remember going on vacation with an old fashioned camera with 24 pictures on a roll of film for the whole holiday? Every shot was extremely valuable and not to be wasted. Aliens could land on the beach and you'd hesitate before taking a picture because a better alien might show up five minutes later.
Well those days are no longer with us. Now I am snap-happy in the true sense of the expression. My mother is even worse. She camera-stalks her grandchildren with the fervour of a seasoned paparazzi, easily taking several thousand pictures each year of the three of them. With a digital camera, we are not restricted by the number of photographs we take and it is very easy to keep clicking.
While it is true that such a high volume of photographs needs to be managed, it is a sad truth that, more often than not, they are simply treated as files on computers or DVD's. And because of the sheer number of photographs that are stored in this way it is frequently the case that the pictures are never looked at more than once, there are just too many of them. The photographer finds herself in the situation of not even knowing her own photographs.
My mother used to have this problem, every six months or so she would sift through thousands of pictures. It really had become a chore. This year though she was bought an electronic picture frame. Now after a session of rampant picture taking she takes the memory stick out of the camera and plugs it straight into her electronic picture frame. The pictures run in the background and she enjoys them straight away. In fact everybody enjoys them. Every time she sees a picture she doesn't want to keep she deletes it right there on the electronic picture frame.
She is left with is a collection of great pictures that she has become familiar with. She copies them into a folder on her laptop and gives the folder an appropriate title. It becomes a kind of collection of photographs from a particular moment in time. Or what used to be called a photo album.
When friends come round she even decides which album she wants to display on her electronic picture frame. With the pictures running in the background, her friends tend to comment on them and she finds it a great way to show off her grandchildren without having to start conversations about them.