Ever since cameras were invented, photographers have been asked, "Can
you get me a copy of that picture you're taking?" In the days of film
photography, there was the rare picture-taker who was kind enough (and
mindful enough) to make extra copies of his prints and distribute them,
but usually these requests get forgotten long before the film is ever
dropped off for processing.
Eventually, people realized that they were never going to get those
copies. They started bringing their own cameras and asking, "Can you
take one with my camera, too?" In the extreme case, a big group will
ask a passing stranger to take a picture for them. Upon agreeing,
however, the stranger is burdened with a dozen or more cameras with
which to take the same picture.
With digital photography and the appropriate technology, we should be
able to get the best of both worlds: a solution where only one picture
needs to be taken and everyone who wants a copy gets one, without
requiring any extra work, expense, or remembering on the part of the
I envision a camera which can register people who want a copy of a
picture before it is taken and software which will automatically email
those pictures out once they're downloaded to a computer. You could use
RFID in a keychain fob that people hold up to the camera to register
that they want a copy of the picture, but it may be hard to get people
to carry the fobs around all the time. Maybe our cell phones could do
the registering with NFC, QR codes, bu.mp or some other technology.
Hopefully someday we'll have the technology that gives us a hassle-free
way to get copies of the pictures other people are taking.
I started an ask for this on AskForIt.com so if it's something you would
like to see as well, join