do young people print photos any more?
November 17, 2012 6:08 AM   Subscribe

do young people (still) put up photographs in their rooms?

for a video, i am helping decorate the room of a contemporary high school senior (female).

I am wondering: would they put up a photo of a friend? how would they get such a photo? by printing it out? or do photos only come from older relatives?

thank you in advance for your thoughts!
posted by noway to Society & Culture (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
No. I'm almost 30 and nobody I knew did that even when I was in high school. Possibly school dance pictures taken with significant others, but that's it. Nowadays nobody prints out pictures, those would all be on their phone or online.
posted by brainmouse at 6:38 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Very much so! Many if not all of my friends decorated their walls floor to ceiling with pictures, while others had extensive bulletin boards and picture frames full of photos of friends and family printed at places like Target and Walmart from their phones and digital cameras. Google "teen girl's room" and "girl's dorm room" for some inspiration. :) I would argue that this is something that modern teens do though, and that most of my teenage students would be very confused and concerned if someone their age did not have photos all over their walls. It's a way of grounding themselves in their friendships and memories -- and it lasts all through college nowadays, especially if someone's a photographer or part of a sorority or other photo-friendly group.

FWIW, I was a teen girl only a few years, and I alone among all my classmates did not put photos up, and kept them instead in printed scrapbooks that I'd made, but that's because I am a nerd who makes books for a living so I'm kind of an anomaly.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 6:42 AM on November 17, 2012 [5 favorites]

I'm in my mid 20's. Just IME, there is significant difference between teen boys and girls in this. Again, IME, many, but not all, girls have photos; very few teen boys do.
posted by demagogue at 6:48 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Teen Vogue has a feature that shows readers' rooms. Or you could ask Tavi at Rookie.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:48 AM on November 17, 2012 [7 favorites]

A search of "me in my bedroom" shows extreme variation from plain walls to walls essentially wallpapered with photos with everything in between.
posted by Mitheral at 6:49 AM on November 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

Absolutely. They could bring their camera's memory card to say, a Walgreens and get them printed.

People still develop photos, it's simply more likely that you're going to hand over something smaller than a film roll these days.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:56 AM on November 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh man, go google image "photo wall dorm". Some of the first few pages of pictures look just like my friends' bedrooms and dorm rooms as seniors and then freshmen in college like one to three years ago.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 6:58 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes they do, as evidenced in Rania Matar's extensive photographs of American and Middle Eastern girls in their bedrooms. However it's not all personal photographs-- a LOT of those walls, if you look closely, are covered with magazine cutouts of teen idols and fashion editorials.
posted by acidic at 6:58 AM on November 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Teenage Bedroom tumblr blog.

Photos might come from a photobooth - the older kids at school, and now my younger daughter and her friends are nuts about the Purikura-type one at Pacific Mall, where they can add all sorts of silly stuff to the photo. Even when there are the plainer booths, they still love them.
posted by peagood at 7:05 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

If my almost-13-year-old and her friends are any indication, yes, they do! And it's bar/bat mitzvah season for her friends at school so her room is now full of photos taken at the parties, usually by a photographer with a green screen so the photos have all these impossible (and impossibly funny) backgrounds.
posted by cooker girl at 7:29 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't know if teenagers still do it, but I just worked on a teen drama TV series where this was an element of the plot (there are scenes when a character CONTEMPLATES A SIGNIFICANT PHOTO on a bulletin board, etc), and nobody batted an eye about it in terms of verisimilitude and plot holes and the like.
posted by Sara C. at 7:57 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

A high school senior would have prom pictures of their friends on their wall/bulletin board - the ones that are taken by the photographer at the prom with the themed background and students buy the package of pictures that they want and trade wallet size ones with their besties.
posted by NoraCharles at 8:09 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I never did but my brother had a ton of band posters and magazine cutouts. So it's a pretty gender neutral thing.
posted by tooloudinhere at 8:17 AM on November 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

If my friends' tween- and teen-aged kids, and the kids that come into my public library and print things off the internet computers, are any indication, then yes, this is still very much a thing.
posted by box at 10:24 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

All the teens I know do. They get prints made of their digital photos and they are everywhere in their rooms.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:05 PM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Check out the back wall of Laina aka Overly Attached Girlfriend for an example of a photo wall.
posted by kandinski at 1:48 PM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes. And there are some girls that make presents of their school photos - like, they get a bunch of sheets of the wallet-sized ones, and hand them out like adults hand out business cards.

This behavior was quite baffling to me as a homeschooled teenager - kids who went to public and private schools gave me their pictures, and I was like... umm....? The pictures (whether of a friend or from a magazine) seem to start showing up on bedroom walls around the age of 9 or 10, as far as I can tell. People seem to give it up whenever they move out of the dorms.
posted by SMPA at 3:58 PM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hi everyone, I was away from the computer all day and just came back to find all of your wonderful answers. I'm going to work my way through them overnight. Thank you all very, very much!
posted by noway at 5:50 PM on November 17, 2012

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