Most people of a certain age and older have some sort of boxes filled with old snapshots that were never mounted into photo albums or were in older albums but were removed for one reason or another. The box might contain duplicate pictures that were sent by family or friends. One thing for certain, is that the old photos are not organized nor sorted.
I have a few boxes of odd photos that should be sorted and placed in albums, but there has been no real desire to do so. What usually happens, is that I grab a box then browse through the collection. There might be a picture from 1998 followed by one from 1958. Sometimes I make a half-hearted effort to sort them into stacks of older pictures and newer pictures. In the end, most of them are returned to the box. Maybe a handful are retained to enjoy again later.
A sad truth is that hardly anybody is going to care about the bulk of the old photos we treasure. This is especially true in this day and age of image overload. Our devices’ memories are crammed with photos that we skim through or share on social media. I’ve been to estate and farm sales and witnessed boxes of old photos being discarded into garbage dumpsters. I’d like to have some of them, but there’s no room in my little house. How would I archive them? Who would even care to look at them? Besides that, I
already have hundreds of my own.
Who among us remembers taking pictures at family gatherings or on vacations with an Instamatic or other inexpensive camera? Maybe you only snapped a few pictures each year. It was a big deal to take the 12 or 24 exposure roll to the drugstore, then receive the finished prints a week later. Some of the pictures were fuzzy because of camera shake. There might be one or two that weren’t printed because the flashbulb malfunctioned. (Do you remember flashbulbs? How about Flashcubes?)
The point is, snapshots were quite important. Even though the images sorely lacked professional sharpness and light balance, they were deeply enjoyed and treasured. On rainy Sunday afternoons we might have brought out a photo album to reminisce.
The images I share with you today no doubt will mean nothing to you. That’s OK. These are “only” amateurish pictures that were shot with inexpensive off the shelf cameras. Some of them, dad shot with his Kodak “Brownie”. One or two with a cheaper “no-name” camera with a plastic lens. There are two from overseas taken with a point and shoot 35mm camera.
Enjoy them for what they are. Examples of a dying past time and tradition. They are now among billions of other images to be found on the Internet.