Photo hoarding. Memory hoarding.

\\When we upgraded our cell phone, I picked my new one based on the camera feature. Silly? Maybe. But for me, someone who loves photography, it made sense. A 13 mp camera with the feature to shoot video and take stills at the same time? Love it. I’ve had it for 8 months and I’ve taken THOUSANDS of photos. Yes you read that right, thousands.

But the internal memory card cannot be removed and, at 32 GB, was getting dangerously close to being full after only 8 months of phone usage. I had over 18 GB of pictures on my phone. Yesterday was my day off, and so, I backed up all of my photos to an external hard drive AND our home desktop computer. Despite them being in two secure places my heart pounded as I pushed “select all” and “delete” on my phone. Gone are the pictures from Cannon Beach summer fun, and the video of him learning to walk, and the endless spaghetti face pictures from summer dinners.

I know it’s an anxiety thing, but having those pictures on my phone, in my hand, is something that makes me feel connected to the past. I love pictures because it helps me remember. I sometimes think that I might cease to exist, cease to remember things, if pictures did not exist. Of course that’s not really the case, but it was fun to look back through all those photos and remember those sweet little moments.

Parenting goes by so fast. In 8 months he’s started walking, and this week, talking, and I love having those little memories imprinted in digital files scattered around my house to go back and meditate on. To remember the sweet smell of his hair, and how his chubby little feet felt kicking me as he nursed endlessly. I think taking pictures helps me be more present now, though I can understand how it also helps me separate myself from the here and now moment, too.

At any rate, my phone is running faster after getting rid of 2500 photos, and it’s fun to think about the new ones that I will get to take, especially as we head into the Halloween and Christmas seasons!



1 Comment

  1. I know what you mean about that moment when you clear the SD card. I once accidentally reformatted mine before I had transferred everything to my computer, and was an emotional wreck until I stayed up all night and found some recovery software that managed to get most of it back.

    One thing that’s given me more peace of mind is an off-site backup in addition to my main computer and external hard drive. There are a few services around that will automatically back up everything off of designated folders, that aren’t too pricey. I use Crashplan, but there are lots of others like Carbonite, Backblaze, or paid versions of things like Dropbox. It took a few weeks to upload everything, but now it’s all there in case I need it. Supposedly Crashplan also has a mobile app that lets you access everything too.

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