"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Monday, July 22, 2013

hey kids! once upon a time we pasted our pictures into scrapbooks

What happens to all the old photos? The ones that have fallen by the wayside and have no place to go. No frames to go into, no scrapbooks either. We've seen boxes full of them in flea markets and antique stores. Who are the people? What are their stories?

Will the pictures we've taken follow the same trajectory? Decades from now, will someone come across a photo of Eddie and me from our wedding day and wonder: whatever happened to this hopeful young couple?

(And what about this new generation that doesn't even print pictures? Most people now simply imprison store their snapshots on their phones.)

I'm fascinated by family photos - old or new, mine or yours. (I'm the one who will actually ask you to show me your photo albums!) I love the often askew compositions, figures and faces coming and going from the edges of the frame, the cutting off of heads (my father-in-law was actually quite good at this), the humor, the proud poses, the frequently odd wonderful use of space, things that accidentally stick out of people's heads and the ways family and friends relate to one another.

Below are some displaced family snapshots I discovered and fell in love with today (from a Tumblr site called Look at Me.) They are lovely, ordinary (and not so ordinary) moments, experienced by people who believed those moments were important enough to be remembered.

And here's a short film about a guy who calls himself The Photo Man. It is totally worth watching (get out some kleenex). He's a hero, breathing new life into old pictures sadly destined for trash bins - resurrecting the subjects and the photographers, alike.


Laura Miller said...

Thanks, Gloria. Watching the short video, and seeing all the vintage photos made me think about my parent's four drawer file cabinet in the their basement. The bottom two drawers are filled with loose, old family photos... I haven't looked at them in years, but am now curious to spend a few hours in the near future sorting through them.

Gloria Baker Feinstein said...

Have fun, Laura!

Anonymous said...

I love this! Thanks for posting these beautiful shots and video.
- JM