Young people are never going to know the excitement of processing a photograph, waiting a few days to see what your images will look like and the embarrassment of a high school ball photo.

This is because they live in an instant world where photographs are perfected with filters at the tap your fingers, an automatic "beautification" setting can be added to your phone and if you don't like something you can delete and replace it.

Last week while chatting with colleagues we started discussing the excitement of developing film and the whole process from taking a photograph and seeing it through all the way to the dark room and seeing the image slowly forming under a blanket of chemicals and hanging the photo paper up to dry.

It was a process that I found exciting at high school while others preferred today's system because their fingertips were not left damaged from all of the chemicals. Fair enough.


Either way, young people today (I've aged into a grandmother just writing that) will never know the good and the bad of the film camera days.

Scrolling through Instagram last week every photo of every woman looked faultless.

They looked great in all shots - even their "in the moment laugh" photo, their big night out snap and even their post-exercise frames. These images are also perfectly set out in nicely cropped squares to tell a story of their lives. The story they want to share.

At this point I couldn't help but laugh at my own unfortunate images at their ages, the effort I'd put into buying a photo album and sliding the printed photographs into those pockets. I still have some of these, with the less desirable pictures hiding behind a better version.

I've got loads of photographs that my friends and I look horrible in and our fashion choices, which involve zero makeup, contouring or eyelash or nail extensions, are hilarious. But it's a reminder of that moment and the story it tells.

It also made me think about how young people today are going to grow up with these images of perfection that don't tell a story beyond how many times they had to retake that ideal shot and which filters they added to make it likeable enough to share.

That's sad.