Life & Photography: Prints From the Past for a New Life

Photo above – Sunrise in Kochi prefecture. My daughter’s name has the character for ocean it.


In early April my life changed forever and I’m still trying to adjust and catch up. 

Simply put, we now have a young daughter. We are still getting to know her and she’s still getting to know us.

I also have more than 35,000 photos on my computer of life before she entered our lives and it has recently dawned on me that if she wants access to our past our daughter needs to see those photos. That will not happen if they remain on a hard drive or deep in the cloud. Anything could happen to them there. Yes, I have back ups. But those are for me.

They need to be physical. They need to be printed.

I need to make boxes and boxes of prints like people did before digital came along and banished everything to zeros and ones. Remember flicking through real family albums for more than a zillionth of a second? How does it compare to swiping aimlessly through photos on a smartphone, constantly skipping forward to the next one, the next dopamine hit? Which feels better? 

I thought so.

I’m fooling myself if I think the majority of photos will have any relevance to her when I’m no longer around but there will be a few with meaning, a few that catch her attention and I can’t think of anything more important right now than printing. I’m not young, but I’m not old either so there’s a lot that she’s missed.

But she can catch up. She still has all the time in the world.

Cycled since I was a kid, moved to Japan in 2001, bought my first 'serious' camera in 2005. Spent the later half of the 1990s travelling in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Japan, and the Philippines and wish I'd photographed a lot more back then.

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