Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The pictures epiphany!

{warning: I might have rambled a little more than I had planned on!}

Through a series of unfortunate events....well really just me not paying attention to details, but anyway.....I deleted a blurry picture from my digital camera.....OH! wait, I didn't just delete the one picture...I very quickly, very effortlessly deleted every picture that I had stored on that camera.

Now to give you an idea of how many pictures that included (I say "idea" because I don't really know exactly how many were on the goofy thing!), I have had the camera for about a year and a half. I have taken pictures with it on vacation, eighth grade graduation, hockey games, soccer games, interesting things out my window at work, etc. Anyway, I digress.

This morning while on the way to work, I started thinking about those pictures. Some of them I had printed off and saved and some I had not. I wasn't really upset about the loss because I knew that I still have the opportunity to get more pictures of my children, husband, mother, etc.

But then it hit me...what about the pictures that as a genealogist I see on a regular basis. You know the ones that don't have names on them and we wonder who they are. I have been lucky that the majority of the pictures that I have gotten, or been allowed to copy, have had names on them. Or the person from whom I was receiving the picture knew who the person was in the portrait.

I thought of my kids and the pictures that I have taken of them. Of course, I know who they are but what about a hundred years from now? Will someone pick up a picture of my son and daughter and ask "who is that tall young man with that attractive young woman....is that his girlfriend? Or is it his sister?" Of course, when I think of it that way, it seems very sad that no one will know about them and their story. But, when I look at the older pictures it doesn't seem as sad or tragic only because of the distance of time.

I started thinking about the unnamed people in the pictures and about what it must have been like for them to get their picture taken.

Oh, how excited they must have been to finally save up enough money to get it done. Maybe while saving the money, they were also making a special dress or having a suit made so when they got their picture taken they knew they would look their best.

How long did they think about what they were going to wear in their picture. Did they have a lot of clothes to pick from and if they did, did they just pick out the outfit? Or did they have to borrow clothes because their "good clothes" just were not good enough?

How nervous were they when they were waiting to have the picture made? Did they bounce their knee, twist the lace on their dress or fidget in the chair while waiting?

How did they react when the photographer handed them their picture? Did they stare at it the same way that I stared at my high school year book picture all those years ago? Did they notice how the corner of their dress was not laying right? And think "oh, no one else will notice that!"

After they got home did they proudly show off the picture taken with the latest technology? Or did they sit it on their dresser waiting for that special someone to stop by the house so that they can show off the picture to them?

So many questions that it makes my head spin. I'm glad that I wasn't driving (hubby was) when all of this thinking was going on in the car in the morning rush hour traffic or I might have had an accident.

I don't think I will ever look at another unidentified picture the same way again. Of course this little "episode" only reinforces that I should have backed up those dog-gone pictures! Have no fear I have learned my lesson.

Hope you enjoyed, glad you stopped by and please come back again ;)

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