The other day, I stumbled upon a wonderful photo from a rather sensible Blog of yvonnekoechig’s post About Franny . One remarkable feature that attracts me is a piece of an old photograph. My attention was immediately drawn to the old photo even if I have no idea who she was. Then when I started to read the content, my heart was touched by both the story behind the photo & the woman in the photo. The old photograph itself evokes so much allure & ignited my curiosity. It triggered my emotion. This is one of the reasons why I find old photos much more moving than modern ones. This is all about personal preferences but this type of reaction can never be the same as doing the “like” “button in Instagram if you like a photo. I have learned that the number of likes on your photos does not define your worth as a person.
I observe this phenomenon many many times happening in different occasions.
Have you ever seen an old photograph of your Husband, of your wife , or of someone you knew closely? specifically an old black and white photograph of them while they are still very young? Can you relate to me on the feeling of bewilderment & fondness that I felt whenever I am looking closely to an old photograph in my hands? Call me sentimental I don’t care, but running my fingers through an old photo album and feeling the texture of each photo gives me such a feeling of sheer fascination compared to the feeling I have whenever I swipe on my phone’s camera roll or from photo gallery in my computer. It’s totally different.
Now, how would you describe your feeling of seeing a recent grinning & duck-faced selfies of people you knew in your camera roll, or in their social media walls & feeds? How did you feel yourself while viewing their photos?
You see, people nowadays took photos driven by the motivation of social media. That is why every photo is so fleeting. You always find yourself taking more & more photos until you see the most “beautiful you “in those photos.
A duck-faced selfie is the opposite of a serious portrait. In the modern selfies, It’s just a momentary performance of happiness. It has zero profundity and therefore zero artistic value. As a human document it is disturbingly throwaway. (In fact, not even solid enough to throw away – just press delete). Have you checked your “Recently deleted photos” lately? How many photos where in that folder?
“A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever.”-Mark Twain
How beautiful and haunting old photographs are in comparison with our silly selfies. In the old photographs, you can see so much of unsmiling faces, and yet I knew that they probably had as much fun as we do now while we took gazillions of selfies , if not more. But they felt no hysterical need to prove it with pictures. Instead, when they posed for a photograph, they thought about time, death and memory. Every photograph have a significant value in their life.The presence of those grave realities in old photographs makes them worth far more than our inanely happy Instagram snaps.Now we have 200+ photos in one event happened in one hour. In the old times, people had their photos taken most probably once when they are young, in a school uniform, once they graduated from college or once they got married. Every photograph has a deep remembrance, a timeless memory. This is how photos should be.
When I had my daughter, it becomes an addictive habit to took photos of her whenever I felt like doing so. I look at my camera roll and gazed in shock. Call me crazy Mama but I realized that I had 2000+ photos of my daughter taken since she was born up to the present! These number of photos are insane! She had more photos than I ever had in my lifetime now considering she’s only 18 months! I sat in amazement and at same time reflect on reasons why am I doing this. Of course our technology nowadays makes it conducive to have everything in an instant. Just look how easy it is to capture every single moment now in photos with a single click. You take 10 photos for 1 pose! Smartphones have become an instant event recorder of our life . It simplify our life as well as devalued it. First you took photos of your pregnancy kit with positive results, then You took photos of your bump on a monthly basis while you are pregnant, then when you are undergoing the Anomaly scan, while you are on labor, while you gave birth,up until the time you have your skin-to-skin moment with your baby. You have so many photos that none of them was developed & printed. All of them remained in our iPhones, iPads, laptops and maybe just stored in your external hard disk. You know that It won’t take long that your memory will be all used up because of the amount of photos you have captured.
For those of you who have read this post, please tell me honestly if this old photo is not alluring enough.
When was the last time you’ve been enticed by an old photograph? Do you also make photo albums as part of your family tradition ?
Please feel free to comment how did this post made you feel.