Certainly look like sisters, don’t they? But they are cousins. We sure have a heavy Nordic strain running through our family. This image is of Courtney and her cousin Charlotte from about 15 years ago.
I’m fascinated by how we value family images over time. When I’m going through my family images just after taking them, I’m often drawn to specific photos. Sometimes the draw is the images composition or subject matter. Sometimes I like a picture because it is a reminder of what we were doing and the feelings I had.
Image: Leica M6, 35mm Summicron, Tri-X
Time, however, has a funny way of adjusting our perceptions of the value of the image. This value became clear to me when I was gathering together my mother’s images after her passing. I wrote a bit about that in a past post. Some favored pictures fall in value, becoming less meaningful while others keep or rise in value. The memory of events and places can fade or become meaningless. The composition also cannot be counted on to carry the image into the future. Connections, relationships, history, and family seem to be part of the key over the long haul.
The problem is time. I realize that I’m pretty vague on what will carry images forward. Like a fine wine or whiskey, there is aging that needs to take place before we can determine the value of the image. Even then the final judge of value may not be us. Future generations will undoubtedly determine the value… IF the pictures last that long…. which is a subject for another post.
It is essential for us as parents to preserve as many of the images from our time here as well as our children’s time. Passing forward a mountain of unedited imagery is one strategy, one I do not recommend. Take the time to tell you and your families story. Make collections of images. Print them out so they don’t get lost in the digital mess. Make it physical, scrapbook, collage, photo albums. And finally, write your story. Adding words to the pictures fills out the meaning and can add memory where there is none.