The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Keeping Memories Alive

7,836. A seemingly random number, but it's not. It's actually the exact number of images I have in my camera roll right this second- and it's bound to go up by the end of the day. Between sharing pictures among family members spread out across countries and continents, cute forwards, and pictures for my blog, my camera roll somehow spun out of control, and now, if I want to find a particular picture from a special occasion, I have a pretty hard time with it! I've also experienced, on occasion, the surprise of going through my camera roll to find a particular picture, and stumbling across others which I had completely forgotten I'd taken!

I know from chatting with friends and family that I'm not the only one who has this problem. We may be the generation who's taking the most pictures- but we're also the generation who's enjoying them the least. Perhaps with ease of access has come lack of appreciation- no more carefully planning a shot, as we can just take lots from different angles, and then pick our favourite ones later. I'm definitely guilty of this, although having used film for photography (recently) and having had to actually develop this film myself has given me a greater appreciation for the nuances of photography, and its importance in preserving memories.

Technology may have advanced, but I think we still need to see AND feel something to enjoy it to the fullest. This is why I'll always prefer real books over reading them on a laptop or tablet, and why it's so enjoyable to look at pictures in an album as opposed to on a screen. Traditional albums, as they were, are almost obsolete. In the time it takes to print pictures (or get them printed), buy an album, and then manually put in the pictures, we could do so much else. However, the fact remains that most people don't know that they have other options! And so they continue either taking hundreds of pictures without fully enjoying them, or selecting some and going through the painstaking process of putting them into a traditional album.

I found this quote from an interesting article I stumbled across online, that talked about the relationship of human memories to photographs:

It’s pretty clear that there is a connection between human memory and the photographs we take. Simply put, a photo is information about past light that we can perceive in present time. Similarly, memories are the affects of our past experiences on our present self. Photographs can serve as memory storage and, when viewed, can activate memory recall.
When I was in the U.S., it was easy enough to find services that did photobooks and canvases, and they were affordable enough that they could be done as often as one liked them. One advantage of services like these is that these photobooks, canvases and other products can be duplicated and recreated- meaning that they can simultaneously be enjoyed by family and friends across the world.

Moving back to Kenya, I automatically assumed that we had no such service, and because of this, didn't even bother to look! So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that we do. PerfectPics has been in the market for a few years now, and are the first and (at time of writing) only service in the country that does online photobooks. What I like about PerfectPics is not just that they identified a niche market and capitalised on it, but that they identified a problem- they had a very clear 'why'- much like I have done above, and set about to help people preserve and enjoy their memories.

So if you're in Kenya, and you're writing to relatives abroad to get you photobooks when they next come to Kenya, you don't need to anymore. Rest assured that there exists such a service in Kenya that truly cares about the memories you make!

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