Thoughts on Photography

I'm scanning some images for another work in the Of Times That Don't Exist series.  It always feels like treasure.  These photos I am lucky to be in possession of - they often feel like a mysteries waiting to be solved.  And sometimes I just pause and see the photo - the tones of the film they used {which can now be emulated using different LR and PS actions}, the way my father or mother composed the image...  I think about the moment - Why did they choose this moment to capture.  With film each shot seemed more purposeful.  Digital photography allows us to snap first and think later.  Film photography made each shot important purposeful.  That's my mom in the middle there... looking quite fashionable.  She is with two people she no longer sees and now that my dad has died we really have no contact with them at all.  

I feel like taking photos has taught me so much but I have learnt things so distant from photography.  It's taught me different ways of interacting with people, it's taught me about what moments are important in the grand scheme...  It has showed me that often people close to us stray in and out of our lives.  My daughter and I were looking at the photos framed on her walls the other day.  I asked her if she wanted me to switch out the photos on some of the images.  The images were of friends that, if we are being honest, we probably won't spend much time with again, or ever again.  "NO!  I want to keep them up."  She stopped herself and then said, "I mean, I guess if you want to we can.  I just like them."  That led to a great conversation about how people come in and out of our lives but it's still fun and good to think about them and the good times we had with them.  They in part make up a little bit of who we are, our life experience is better off for having known them and for having that memory in our lives.  So why not keep it up?  Why not remember something we thought important enough to commemorate?   People drift in and out of our lives and that's okay, good even.  

At first I didn't know who these other people with my mother are but then I remembered other photos from this trip they were on, other trips they were on with the same couple.  Ahhh yes.  Now I know who they are. They had such beautiful travels together.    I think about when, years later {probably 30-35 years later} I would meet these two other people for the first time.  How they told me I looked a little like my mother... about how special a person she is, about what great travels they had together.  And now looking at this simple photo I remember them and so much more than this time I wasn't even born to experience.  I remember conversations with my parents about them, about relationships, snowy road trips...

I wonder if they spoke in the car about how sketchy that drive up the snow was.  Did they listen to music in the car on the way?  Like with the mystery of this photo left unsolved, so too are all the questions about this moment in time.  And that's part of the fun for me... letting someone else's photo guide my imagination and memories to somewhere it wouldn't otherwise.