A quest to return lost memories

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Apr 25, 2013

One day, during my second year at university, as I was storing away some boxes in the cupboard under the stairs I came across an old grey box wedged in a neat crack in between two steps. The box was covered in what looked like years’ worth of dust. Inside the box was filled with personal photos, certificates and letters. So many wonderful memories just stashed away and unintentionally forgotten about. There were many letters from family, friends, pen pals and girlfriends all addressed to a Scott Goodfellow. With almost every letter there was a photo. Amongst the letters there were endless photos of Scott and his family. I remember many of them clearly; Scott as a baby in the garden with his mum. Another of Scott sat beside his Nan. Several of Scott lined up next to his football team. I couldn’t bring myself to just tuck the memories back under the stairs, so I made it my mission to return the box to Scott.

Fast forward 7 years and I found him! After all the searching, it turned out that Scott happened to live not too far from me. I was over the moon. I just hoped that Scott would be even more excited than I was to have his box of memories returned to him. I arranged to meet Scott outside my workplace. Seeing his face when I handed him the box was priceless. As he looked through the photos and letters his face froze and from his expression you could see years of lost memories coming back to him. It’s amazing what a photo can do, the memories it can evoke; memories that we may have completely forgotten if it weren’t for a simple piece of paper.

After speaking with him for a while, Scott points out a familiar face in one of the photographs of him with his football team. Looking more closely at the black and white photo I could see a familiar face. The player knelt down on the far left with a big grin on his face was the one and only Mr David Beckham, arguably the most famous football player alive.

Had I found the photos on a hard disk I doubt I would have had the same urge to return them to their rightful owner. Would anyone miss a misplaced jpeg file as much as they would miss a photo? Photos remind us of the moments we cherish and wish to keep, and perhaps share with our grandchildren someday.

We need to remember that prints are the best solution for preserving our memories. Photos are the most effective way to back up photos and also a great way to hand down memories to future generations. I highly doubt that DVD media will be around in our grandchildren’s era. 

Prints are immediate. There is no need to switch on a computer to view them. Prints are solid and real unlike the ephemeral nature of electronic files. I think that prints are the best possible way for us to pass on our memories to future generations. It is the only method for storing images which is not technology dependent. The electronic media that we use today for storing photos will more than likely be replaced by new methods in the future. Unlike prints, electronic media is not future proof. I doubt if DVDs will be the storage media that my grandchildren will use. However, I am certain that they will get pleasure from looking at prints from when their grandmother was their age.

To understand consumers’ photo storage behaviours our Photo Storage and Transfer report is available on the InfoTrends report store. For more information, please contact the European Sales Manager Jennie Lewis jennie.lewis@infotrends.com.

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