Thursday, January 20, 2011

What will my photos mean in 20 years?

I wrote this post on August 30th this year after looking at a lot of old photographs. I have been waiting to repost it on this blog because I was waiting for a reason to do so!! I came across an article today about a mom/author making her children unplug from all the technology for 6 months. She makes a comment in there that is an echo of what my blog post was about. This is my post. I will then quote her article and link to it so you can read the whole thing if you so choose.

I have been looking at photographs posted on facebook of the area I live from about the past 130 years or so. There is a group of people that have started a group to share old photographs and what a treasure. In the oldest pictures you have that solemn look that so many people had when photographed. Then as the years go by you still see a sort of shyness. As we get closer, a lot of the pictures from the 40′s and 50′s the people seem to have a pride in their faces. Perhaps because their families could afford cameras, or because they had a sense of purpose. I wonder what photos from now will relay in 20 years? People are in pictures so much and so often I don’t think we will ever see a raw photograph again. People going out places dress for the camera. They know they will have their picture taken by some camera, or phone, or Ipod. Our children’s sense of identity is being shaped by seeing themselves on computer screens and in the lcd’s on the back of digital cameras. When our loved ones are dead and gone we will appreciate these photographs, but in the now, how much living are we doing for the sake of living? Are we living for the camera? Is this age of instant photo addiction damaging?

What is real and what is glossed over photographic fantasy? Photo altering now, leads to future confusion. Such as: How yellow was that shirt really? Did the sky really look like that? Was so and so’s teeth really that perfect white? How did she keep her skin so clear? Will it alter our memories of what life was really like? I think it will. How easy it can be to look at a photograph and alter our memory to fit the photo. But the question is…does it matter? Does it matter if in 20 years we regard these years as better than they were? What about 40 years from now? 50? Don’t all people regard their younger years as better than present no matter the circumstances? Is it a matter of rose colored time traveling glasses? Or is it just the fact that as we get older we have the ability to embellish the past. Perhaps, with this glossed over photographic fantasy we are embellishing as we go.
Ok that was my blog post. This is what author Susan Maushart said about her daughters before they unplugged "  Her girls had become mere "accessories of their own social-networking profile, as if real life were simply a dress rehearsal (or more accurately, a photo op) for the next status update."

Is there a day that's going to come when people's bodies fail them, or they no longer want to be photographed and they wake up and realize they don't know how to live their lives without an audience? I think maybe.

No comments:

Post a Comment