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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sharing vacation pictures with technology

No family vacation is complete without tons and tons of pictures, and for many years, no trip was complete without one final side excursion: a visit to the local drug store to develop those pictures to share with the family and friends.

But times have changed, as anyone who’s visited a Facebook, Flickr or Instagram page lately knows. Sharing photos has gone from a time-consuming process to something instantaneous and yes, even cross-generational.

For Dave Heffner, manager of Community Financial’s Lending Department, technology has become a remarkably quick and easy way to share vacation photos with his kids, parents, and everyone in between. 

“The thing that always amazes me with technology is, you’re standing wherever you are, like the rim of the Grand Canyon (where he and his family visited in 2012), and you can take a picture and text it to 10 people right away, ‘Bam!’” he said.

“You can immediately share your experience with your friends and family.”

The ease of use and instantaneous features of smartphone and digital cameras sent shockwaves through the traditional film industry. The iconic Kodak film company filed for bankruptcy over a year ago and discontinued several once-popular film products due to a massive decrease in usage.

Everyone adapts to the newest technology at a different pace, but even the older generation is starting to make some progress, at least in the case of Heffner’s family.  Heffner usually posts vacation photos to a website or sends them to family members via text, but he has a different process for his parents.

“My parents are in their 70s and they’re not overly tech savvy, so instead of having them go to a website we’ll burn them a CD of our vacation  pictures and send that to them. Then they can just pop it in a computer when they go home and say, ‘Wow, look at those.’”

For the Gen Y and X crowd especially, Facebook is one of the most popular ways to share photos, with as many as 964 pictures uploaded to the site every second according to WikiAnswers estimates. Facebook also bought the growing photo site Instagram for about $1 billion in cash and stock options last year, another extremely popular way to share photos.

Smartphone photography has exploded as well, growing from 17% of all photos and videos taken two years ago to 27% according to a December 2011 study by the NPD Group, a number that has likely only grown tremendously since then. Heffner and his family are among those contributing to digital and smartphone photography revolution, especially considering the results of their last family vacation.

“I bet we had 600 or 700 pictures easy, 400 on my iPhone and 300 on my camera, with a bunch of the kids’ phone too,” he said.

When asked what he likes most about the technology, Heffner didn’t hesitate.
“The immediacy, you can share pictures right away, share the experience right away. It’s pretty phenomenal, I’m 48 years old and 20 years ago we had a completely different way of doing things.”

Sources include:

Photo of Nathan and Delaney Heffner at Zion National Park. 

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