For several years now, the accepted conventional wisdom has been that the scrapbook industry has been declining because of technology – specifically, digital cameras and social media. Is that really the case? Yes and no.
Fifteen years ago when I started scrapbooking, film photography was still the norm. I would sit at tables at crops surrounded by women toting their latest envelopes full of pictures fresh from the processing lab that they felt like they needed to “do something” with. They wanted to preserve them for the next generation and put them in a format where they could share them with their friends and family easily. The goal was to have no boxes and stacks of pictures, but instead to have neat and tidy albums that everyone could enjoy and share, and that preserved their photos.
Enter digital photography, and social media.
Suddenly instead of envelopes full of prints, we have folders full of pictures on our hard drives. Out of sight, out of mind – there are no longer physical objects demanding that we “do something” with them. Now, if we want a print, we have to take several proactive steps to create one.
And sharing has changed dramatically too. We can have virtual photo albums on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and any number of other sites, as well as post images on our blogs. We don’t need people to come to our house to see our albums. We bring our photos to our loved ones through their computers, often instantaneously when they are shot through our mobile phones. [Read more...]