Why Photos Are the New Post-its

A fresh look at photo-taking in the digital age

Adolfo Ramírez Corona
4 min readMay 13

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

How can we compare taking notes and taking photographs? How have both changed with digitalization, the internet, and smartphones?

It’s difficult not noticing how much has changed the experience of taking photographs, not in a professional setup — that has also changed a lot, but that’s for another text — but in our daily lives.

The Rise of Photo-Taking: Changes from the Past to Present

I like to call this new kind of experience photo-taking. You’ll see why we need a new name.

Photo-taking is the use of photography to note, remember, or record things, independently of how those things look or express.

Now, we use photo-taking to register a paper bill and send it to someone. Or to remember the floor, letter, and number of the parking slot we left the car in the mall. Very useful when you need to buy a mechanical part and show the picture to the shop attendant. Great to match colors when buying curtains for decorating your house.

All that kinds of experiences are what I call photo-taking.

Taking photographs with small cameras, easy to carry and easy to use was a luxury for those with money to spend not just on the camera itself, but on film, development, and printing.

In the professional or semi-professional medium, the famous Leika and alike models with their direct viewfinders made history for street and war photography.

For families and fun, there was instant photography, as it was called by photographic companies like Kodak, and their point-and-shoot cameras.

But because of the costs associated with the photographic process, photo-taking was not an option.

Well, sometimes a photographer could use a photo at the beginning of a photo session as a reference to identify the film roll on the contact sheet. A photo showing the name of the town, the sports team logo, or the date on a board. Very similar to how you use a clapperboard in making films.

But those were very specific uses and exceptions.

How Digitalization and…

Adolfo Ramírez Corona

Author, psychotherapist, coach—Human behavior, UX, media & audiences—Father, husband, meditator—Courses & coaching: antifragilewriting.com—More adolforismos.com