Family first. I have always believed in Family. I believe the photograph is the most important artifact we have to those we love and those who loved before us. It is our past and our legacy to the future. Photographs are our hieroglyphs, our cave painting. It is how we remember who we are and who we belong to.
They show us Granpa and Mom-Mom, Uncle Joe and Auntie Mary. They share our new births. They shows us those who have passed on.
These photos are not part of my portfolio. They are not commercial work at all. These are snapshots of members of my extended Family at an annual picnic held near us at a local park. Part of that gathering is a tradition I am sure many families share. Everyone brings photographs.
There are those dumped from boxes, stripped from old albums, new ones, old ones, color, black and white, faded and yellowed.. There are graduations, engagements, parties, vacations, the house we used to live in and new homes we have gone to. There are babies, children, teenagers,old men, old women, old cars, new cars, trucks trailers and motor homes. There are professional portraits and faded snap shots from World War II. There are polaroids, 110mm, 35mm,120mm, 620mm film prints. There are 8 by 10, 4 by 5, 5 by 7 as well as those clipped and trimmed to fit snuggly beside another piece of the past in a treasured album.
The common denominator is they are all prints, tossed, touched, held and caressed as though they hold the very souls of those memories they represent. They are physical, they feel like the varied papers they are printed on. Some have a vague musty smell, others reek of ancient cigarettes.
What jewels these are. How wonderful. They are shown and discussed. Stories from long ago bubble up. Scandals are revealed. Youthful adventures are confessed. Young ones are introduced to Family that have left this world. They are shown versions of parents they would never have known existed.
All of this activity ebbs and flows about the pile of photographs.
The photograph has been with us since 1839. Coming near the 200 year mark. We take more photos now than ever before, yet there are fewer photographs.The digital age that lets us socialize and communicate like never before is destroying our legacy. How will the next generation gather around the table to learn and relive there personal history. Data is fleeting. Digital storage is temporary. Photographs are our personal, national treasure.
I am a photographer. I love the art and the light. I love the memories. My personal passion is to add to your legacy with my work. You also need to make an effort to preserve this resource that is so very important to those who love you. Please please, print your photos. Take them from the digital void and give them life. Let them be held and caressed. Let them into your life in a permanent way. Don't just make images or take a pic for Facebook. Make a photograph.
Here is a link to some more snapshots from the Family picnic.
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