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The Camera Roll

The Camera Roll

Written by Emma D'Arcy

We all have hundreds (if not thousands) of photos on our phones – memories captured over the years as we move through life, from the every day to the extraordinary.

When I scroll through my phone photo gallery, family memories, special occasions with friends and travel highlights are all there – along with the more mundane photos of my attempts at baking banana bread and other culinary delights. Since modern smartphones offer a convenient portable alternative to carrying around an SLR camera, technology has allowed us to create a continually updated memory lane of snapshots of life. However, much of the time that collection of memories remains hidden away on that phone photo album, and many images don’t see the light of day.

When I do happen to glance through my phone photo album, they take me back to an epic trip to South Africa or a family lunch I had forgotten about, and jog memories taking me back to that moment in time. With this in mind, I started to think about how I could bring these pictures to life again, celebrating momentous occasions and happy moments that make up life. My suggestions below are just a few ideas to get started – you’ll undoubtedly come up with your own ways to reintegrate that patchwork collection of hidden snapshot treasures that instantly bring a smile to your face.

The first format idea is one that you’ll be familiar with but may not have tried for a while: creating a multi-framed photo montage for your home or for a loved one, created from a specially curated collection of special moments. I prefer to frame photos of family members or friends when they are caught unawares on camera rather than posed shots. One personal favourite framed montage includes a photo of my Nan Dorothy (or Dot as she is affectionately known) on her eightieth birthday as she arrives at a surprise party to be embraced by my mum – the delight on her face says it all. I created a family photo collection of several special highlights like this for my mum’s birthday.

For digital ideas, my recent personal favourite is the iMovie function on the iPhone. I created a home-edited spoof film trailer full of family photos, introducing each of the family ‘characters’ and conjured up a funny storyline about our family trip to Manhattan for my brother who we haven’t seen for three years now, who is currently living in New Zealand. In an instant, though you can’t jump on a plane, you can bring your family together in this way and make friends and family far away laugh and feel closer together. Digital photo frames are an alternative option for showcasing your favourite pictures, handy when you’re like me and find it difficult to choose one for the photo frame. It also goes without saying that your Instagram, TikTok and other favourite social channels offer an alternative digital way to capture the highlights of life.

Another idea if you’re feeling creative is to make a scrapbook of travel highlights, along with written commentary about adventures, escapades, and particularly memorable moments that will jog your memory in years to come. Having a physical book feels luxurious somehow, and it’s an absorbing task when its a rainy day outside and you’re looking for an engaging activity without heading to screens for an entertainment fix.

There are so many other ways to enjoy your photo memories – take a scroll through your phone when you have a moment, and I can guarantee you’ll find special memories to get lost in. When we all have such busy schedules and day-to-day lives, sometimes slowing down and taking the opportunity to reflect on life and your story so far can be a really enjoyable experience.

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