When I turned 40 I got a camera. A real camera. I have always dabbled in photos and drive my kids crazy on trips.
What is the significance of a photograph, especially in the digital age?
So many moments in life are stolen away. We might recall a significant moment that rocked us off our feet, scared us, or brought some element of surprise, but for the most part, most of our moments are washed away over time.
Sometimes they are clouded, transformed, by words, others opinions or fictionalized outcomes we had wished were true.
But when I look back at old photographs, even something in the background might trigger a thought, a feeling, a memory so strong that it awakens my yesterdays.
That is why when I turned 40 I wrote in my journal, “Figure out that old camera and see life through the lens”.
I am approaching 50 (ok three years away) and something about the photos I have gathered these last few years as compared to the polaroids of my youth has made me love the phenomenon of “capturing moments”.
Even those from an open window on country lanes which I call “drive by shootings” can document a time and place that we see being chipped away for eternity.
Here are a few from the Capstone Hotel Bridal Fair in Tuscaloosa. The little girl in the photo was not only reluctant to go out, but once making her way down the runway, she was, well…..you take a look.
Perhaps one day as a lost teen she will see this photo of herself, the gleam and innocence in her eyes, the reminder of just how much fun she was having under the lights. Hopefully that is before others tell her how she was “scared to go out”, “traumatized” or any of those other labels that enter into moments as precious as these.
I hope this motivates you to take out that camera and forget the posed “smile” photos and document the feeling of the moment. Let it be your gift to those who come after you.