Ten plagues…crossing the Red Sea on dry ground…water gushing out of a rock…bread descending from heaven every day…
And God didn’t want the people of Israel to forget what He did for them. He wanted the to pass on these moments to their children and grandchildren so they will always remember how God had remained faithful to them during their times of need. So God led them to construct a memorial after each occasion. Normally it was a pile of rocks. And it served as a conversation piece for future generations.
Today we take pictures. Their purpose isn’t to sit in a box somewhere. Their purpose is to tell a larger story and create a conversation. Often for me they express some attribute of God’s goodness and faithfulness. I take a lot of pictures of my family because they are a direct fulfillment of God’s endless blessing in my life. I love to take a picture and let it be the starter for a bigger conversation.
It’s true when they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Personally I find flipping through old photographs priceless. They’re one of the few irreplaceable items in your life. They capture real emotions. A simple photograph has the power to tell so many stories all at once. That’s why I love the time we’re living in because it allows us to make the most of each photograph we take.
In That Box Somewhere…???
When I was growing up in the late 80’s, my mom captured every moment with her Kodak Instamatic on 110 film. Each roll of film had the capacity to hold 24 pictures. She’d fill up one cartridge, pull it out, and slide in a brand new one. After the day was over, her camera would go back into its carrying case along with several rolls of used film. After several months which often turned into years of forgetting to take the film in to be developed, we’d pull out the old film and wonder, “I wonder what’s on these?” So out of sheer curiosity, we’d take four or five cartridges of film into our local Walgreens and send the film off to be developed.
A week later when they were ready for pick-up, we excitingly open each envelope with a Christmas-like sense of wonder only to be disappointed with ten good pictures and fourteen others where the flash messed up or a finger in front of the lens. After thumbing through the good pictures (and paying for all 24 pictures) we added the envelopes to the box of family photographs (up in the closet) where they would probably never be seen again.
A Better Way
Today I no longer have a box of family photographs. We rarely take pictures in to be developed. And my camera is much better than that old Kodak Instamatic mom used to have. Today I use my iPhone 4S to capture every moment worth capturing (and some not so worth it). I use the free Camera app that comes purely installed with the iOS. Then for the photos worth sharing I use Instagram to post to all of my social media profiles (Follow me at instagram.com/pastorashton).
For moments that require a video to be recorded, I do exactly the same thing. Instagram’s new video upload feature rivals any video sharing app on the market; not to mention, it allows me to share with my current Instagram audience without requiring me to start for scratch inviting new followers.
While we do own a nice digital Canon Powershot Digital Camera and a Canon Digital Video Recorder, I’ve opted to harness the power of my iPhone to capture life’s greatest moments for several reasons:
1. I always have my phone with me. I never carry a camera with me. Ever have one of those, “I wish I had my camera with me” moments? I’ll never have that again!
2. It takes just as good a photograph with more storage capacity to hold more pictures.
3. It makes sharing photographs a breeze. Where mom would have to wait to show her pictures with people when they could meet up, I can upload to Facebook and people all over the globe can instantly enjoy my experiences with me. Not to mention I can whip out my iPhone and flip through thousands of pictures and never have to carry around bulky photo albums anymore.
4. It creates instant interaction and conversation. Looking at pictures use to be a moment when you flip through a stack of pictures just to find one worth talking about. Now I can delete all the bad pictures, share one good one, and create an instant conversation with friends and family no matter where they live.
5. It eliminates the box in the closet. Now all my pictures are stored categorically by date on the hard drive on my phone. The good ones worth sharing are uploaded to Facebook and Instagram.
All of my photos are backed up via the iCloud provided by Apple. My wife and I share an Apple account so both of our pictures are shared in a common folder called “Photo-stream”. I also have my phone set to automatically upload every photo and video to a free online service called Dropbox (start your free account today with bonus storage). Within every service I use my photos are dated so they’re easy to find.
Of course for the really good pictures, we still take them to Walgreens and print (instantly) to hang on the wall or add to the family scrapbooks. We can still print a few photos to take to grandparents who refuse to join internet related activities. I’ve really not discovered any drawbacks to taking full advantage of technology and social media.
So why are you not taking full advantage of technology and social media? If you have, what value has technology and social media added to your memory sharing capabilities? I’d love for you to add to this conversation and perhaps we can spur a few more folks to make the most of every picture they capture.