Photos Don’t Matter


Well, actually I think they do matter, but a recent article in the Wall Street Journal “The Power of the Earliest Memories” by Sue Shellenbarger included the following quote: “While the lives of many youngsters today are heavily documented in photos and video on social media and stored in families’ digital archives, studies suggest photos and videos have little impact.” A recent study by Carole Peterson and coworkers found that the existence of photos and videos didn’t have an impact on kids’ memories. The article goes on to state, “Parents play a bigger role in helping determine not just how many early memories children can recall, but how children interpret and learn from the events of their earliest experiences.”

I’m not convinced. All too often, I see my own children reviewing the photo books I have created. They are clearly interested, and I cannot believe my kids would spend time looking at photos if they were unimportant.

What I can say is that perhaps the photos alone are not enough and that when we are taking photos we need to occasionally step back and talk about what is happening. And you know what, we might even enjoy hearing what our kids’ thoughts are.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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