Marlowe Evans.

Being Young: Photos play important role in my life

A mix of digital and physical photos.

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but is that still true?

All photography used to involve developing film, and a photograph was a physical keepsake from days past.

Now, most photos are taken on cell phones, and most of them are then shared to social media instead of printed into physical form.

Many adults mix their photos, some printed, some shared to sites like Facebook. Youth, however, are much more scattered in their photography tastes.

Photography, both digital and physical, has become very popular among teenagers and young adults. Personally, physical photographs have always had meaning to me. My parents made a photo album of me when I was a baby (spoiler alert: I was very cute), and even when I was as young as seven and eight, they would buy me disposable cameras. I have a little pink Disney Princess-themed book of photos from when I was still in primary in elementary school.

Things changed when I got a digital camera. I dragged it around everywhere. I took it with me to Hawaii and I can still remember nearly dropping it into Pearl Harbour.

I was too young to have social media, but my photos started to go onto my family computer instead of into a photo album.

My relationship with photography was beginning to change. I got Twitter, and then the photos from my camera were going there. I got a cell phone. I got Instagram. I took thousands of photographs. But where were they?

It wasn’t until my family took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park that I realized I wanted to have physical photos. As much as I loved Instagram and the way it allowed me to share my pictures with people, I wanted something more personal. I wanted to be able to look back at memories of my family road trip the way I could look back at pictures from my eighth birthday party at the bowling alley, captured in that little pink book.

I started printing photos. I asked my parents for a Polaroid camera for Christmas. I still posted all of my photos to my social media, but now I could look at them whenever I wanted, independent of Wi-Fi or data.

I took my Polaroid camera camping out in the woods, where my phone wouldn’t be able to charge. I took my photo albums with me to university so I could sit with my new friends and show them pieces of my life.

Many people my age are feeling this strange mixture of digital and physical photography. When you spend most of your time with a camera in your hand (in the form of a cell phone), it becomes relatively easy to capture memories instantly.

But not all of these photographs end up on Instagram or VSCO. Some of them are family photos. Some of them are goofy photos that don’t fit with the ‘insta-aesthetic.’

For whatever reason, there are some photos that just need to be printed, and others that deserve the Internet fame.

I adore my photographs. The walls in my dorm room are covered in prints of famous paintings, there are also prints of photographs by Gilles Caron, and there are prints of some of my own photographs.

Photos, whether digital, physical, or both, play an important role in my life. They tell the unfolding story of my life, and, like they do for many people my age, serve as an important and irreplaceable method of self-expression.

Every photograph I decide to take tells a story. Whether it’s the perfect Instagram selfie, or a picture of seagull footprints in the snow, every photograph says something. There is a photograph for everyone.

Marlowe Evans is a student at the University of New Brunswick

from Maple Ridge who writes

about youth issues.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mounties collar suspect after shots ring out in Maple Ridge

Weekend incident on 227th Street leads police to Surrey for one arrest and gathering of evidence

‘Just getting to know Maple Ridge’: local resident discovers historical markers

Belle Morse Park was named after the former mayor who also served as a city councillor

Guard dog trainer looks to take over part of tree farm

An unused horse arena and gravel area on Green Road property proposed for alternate use

Council ponders next steps for Pitt Meadows Official Community Plan

Revising a blueprint for how to keep growing and developing the city has been stalled by COVID

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read