Memories. Faces. Places.Things. Cameras are tools that help us capture a moment, a memory. I do not remember Irene, but I clearly see both of us sharing a baby carriage as infants because of the photograph in my parent’s album. My mother and aunts left photography to my father and his brothers. I wonder how much this affected what memories were captured. Formal pictures, birthdays, vacations, and family events. Small, everyday items are left out. The male perspective, perhaps? Or maybe all three brothers enjoyed technology? Does technology and camera gear appeal to one person in your family?
Did the cost of developing film limit the number of images developed? Or perhaps just the roll of film itself prove self limiting. Our memory cards which now hold gigabytes allow for multiple pictures. The only limit might be the time to go through all the images. For my ninth birthday I got my first box camera. I could take 12 pictures using one black and white roll of film.
Up until I married in 1970 my photographs were printed in black & white and in the smallest size due to cost. One of my uncles used color film in the early 1950’s and I do remember a color photograph taken on my 5th birthday, sitting on my uncle’s big black Oldsmobile. Now we have such flexibility. Take the photo in color, and change it to black and while in post processing. With this flexibility I can have a creative style or finish my shoot with a documentary goal. Usually, I try and capture the image as I want it, and I don’t depend on a lot of computer time. But lately I have tried adding plug-in filters to Lightroom. Raw images straight out of the camera need some tweaking. Flexibility.
Picture so ingrained in my mind, I had to find it! That’s me on my 5th birthday.
My family, and my husband’s family did not have family portraits hanging in the living room. I do not shoot in a formal portrait mode so only school photos were in the typical staged style. My family style is more photo journalist. I can remember a time when my father dragged out a flood light (think hot), and set up a timer so that everyone could be in a family picture. I recall no one was particularly happy when this happened, and it probably is reflected in the image. With my informal shots I try and tell a story.
I’m not a selfie shooter, and since I am the one taking the photographs there are large gaps in my life where no pictures exist. Remember to be included in some of the photographs so you can age gracefully. With an upcoming family reunion spanning 3 generations, I am reading up on how to photograph family groups that are more dynamic. I’ll be sure to use my tripod and self timer and get into the photo.
How do you share photographs? My father’s impeccable draftsman printing in white and gold eventually gave way to the plastic magnetic albums, and colored slides. My first album used photo corners, and soon moved to albums with slip-in pockets. Digital photography again gives us many choices. Many files are left on the computer, and shared online through blogs, Facebook, and emails. Some continuity is lost this way. Sometimes I print out a photo book, and in the fall I plan to start a scrapbook. Family albums are special, but have little value for my mother who has macular degeneration and can no longer see. Last week I was diagnosed with this same vision challenge. But age related macular degeneration usually progresses slowly, and I am more aware of what I need to do to maintain good eye health. I also plan to share my photographs with my grandchildren and label my files. I look at this time as an opportunity to connect generations.