This is a piece I wrote a while back in my notebook, but never found the time to type up.
It is true what they say about time flying by as you get older. I suppose between work, relationships, and chores, it’s hard to find time for hobbies or fun. It seems shocking to me since we have all this portable or even wearable technology that allows us to schedule any aspect of our lives. I have a friend who uses her iPhone timer as a reminder to take her pill. I use an app to pick up a coffee at Starbucks so I don’t have to wait in line. And with a touch of a button, Amazon can send a package to my doorstep in two days. But alas, we are still so, SO busy.
If you are a faithful follower of my blog, then you may notice I write about time a lot. I am obsessed with it. I like to take time, make time and save time. This might be why I am so obsessed with photography. It helps me capture time or freeze time. And sure it’s only a two-dimensional image of a three-dimensional world, but it’s an image full of clues that are waiting to be discovered.
I remember my childhood preoccupation with old photographs. Here were these photographs of a family I’d never met, houses I’d never been in, parties to celebrate milestones occurring long before my birth. I liked to guess the year (or decade) of the event by observing people’s clothing, hairstyles or even the furniture. Then I would imagine what was happening and how the people were feeling at the time.
Somedays I wonder if future generations will ever experience that same joy and curiosity I did (do) while looking at photographs. Many of the photos from this generation contain timestamps from smart devices. Some are heavily altered by filters or worse, Photoshop. Today’s selfies are carefully composed with good lighting and an angle most flattering by the ability to hold light smartphones all around. Everything is tailored and neat. There is no such thing as candid. It disappoints the hell out of me.
It is awesome that this generation has so many photographs, thanks to digital photography. We have lots more people and places documented than ever before. But then, they are not quite as precious when there are so many, right? And are we saving and printing all these images or will they die on some social media platform that might one day lose its cool?
Dear friends, keep those old photographs and look at them. Print all the photographs from your phone and make an album. Label each photograph with a title, location and what you were doing the day it was snapped.