What is #existinphotographs? Why?

Photographs speak to us beyond the time they were created.  They show us a different time, an insight into the style of dress, hairstyles, how successful, or where in society the individual[s] were at the time they had the photographs taken.

In the past having a photograph taken was a special occasion, with everyone coming together & getting all dressed up because they knew that what they were about to do was create something that they were going to treasure for many years to come.

When I was little I used to love it when we were round at my nan's and she got the old pictures out and told us who they were.  Today I am so thankful to my ancestors, as I am so lucky to be able to trace my family through the medium of photography, to look at old pictures of my family members, such as the selection on this page, to see the style of clothing, the proudness in their stance, & i some instances, what they did for a living.  Not all of these people I was lucky enough to meet, most were long gone by the time I arrived.

As a child I often wondered who they were, what they did, which bit of them, if anything, I inherited.  As an adult I've been able to find out more about them, but that's a whole different blog!

I’m incredibly lucky that my family were both fascinated by this new technology when it arrived, & knew the value of it both from a personal & a commercial perspective (as can be seen by the business card portrait here with the puppets).  Seeing that it was a way of preserving ‘now' for the ‘future’ in that, by seeing the images helps bring the people close to you again when they cannot be there in person.

This is just as true today as it was 100 or more years ago.

Back then it was a way of carrying family & loved ones with you when setting off for a new life in a different country, continent or even to the other end of the country.  this was a time when, if people moved away, they were unlikely to ever see their family again.

Today its so easy to keep visual contact with loved ones, via Skype, FaceTime, or other social media platform video phoning systems.  

One thing that hasn't changed is that when someone passes away we reach for their photographs, to bring us comfort, to keep their memory alive by seeing their face again, and in so doing we can hear their voice, their laughter, it helps remind us that although they're now gone, they were with us and we can take comfort from the images we have and cherish them.

In todays society of the selfie, & where most photographs are taken on a smart phone & instantly uploaded to social media, are rarely backed up, are too low resolution to print (though that’s improving), get lost when the phone dies or gets upgraded & rarely see the light of day beyond the moment we took & uploaded the image, how many photographs will survive & how many would we want to survive for future generations in the way our ancestors have survived through their family portraits?

What does #existinphotographs mean to you?

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