Saturday, September 5, 2015
Save Your Photos #5 of 30!
The amount of photos we take these days astounds me. It's cool - but it's crazy to think about. I love this photo of ancient intimates hanging on a line. I'm not even sure it's real - it's probably staged to look old, but it reminds me of how photos can capture everyday things, mundane items, regular stuff...
We use our cameras-phones to freeze time! Groovy right? We are capturing pictures of things that tell the story of everything in our lives.
When I watch old movies, I always look at what's in the scene behind the actors - what's sitting around on the tables, what technology is in the frame, what clothes people are wearing, what the cars and houses and city streets look like, what's on the billboards and the signs. Likewise, when I'm helping clients to organize older photos from decades past, I love to peek into the backgrounds of the photos - to look beyond the smiling faces and the posed groups - to see what stories the every day world has to tell.
When I look back through my own family photos - the ones from when I was little, I search for the things I remember from the houses I used to visit - like seeing my grandmother's canisters lined up on the kitchen counter where I remember baking cookies with my aunt, like seeing a toy I remember playing with piled on a bookshelf in the background of a photo of my brother or seeing the car I helped my grandfather wash in the driveway of their house.
There are so many memories in the backgrounds of photos - in the simple objects that weren't the intended subjects of the photos. I love the history they tell and the decades they document - even if it was an unintentional part of the memory keeping.
Today - I love to take photos of regular things - someone mowing a yard, a letter written in cursive, silverware lined up in a drawer - items in my refrigerator - mail sitting in a basket - buildings in my neighborhood - street signs - cars in the driveway - clothes on the line - items on my desk, etc etc I feel like I'm documenting history for the future generations - my present day will be their past, and the stuff I use and touch every day may look strange and wonderful to them.
A few years back I made a "DAY TO DAY" album. I took one photo every day for 365 days. Often, the pressure of taking a photo a day meant that I took photos of very mundane things. At first that concept bothered me, that I would waste space printing a photo of "nothing" because I hadn't taken a "real" photo that day. But later, when the album was done and I looked back, I love that the album is a blend of "planned" photos and every day objects. I like the idea that my album is a history of one year in my life - one regular, every day year and once I realized I was capturing unique images that depict the very real and regular bits of mylife, the album was more special.
So since we snap as many photos every two minutes as were taken during an entire century, realize that we are capturing a unique part of our culture and history every 120 seconds and snap away!