Sometimes, especially when I am away from home, and I see people taking photographs, getting their photograph taken with a landmark, or with their arm around their partner, or pulling a funny face, I think about where that photograph will end up, and perhaps what these people will think about when they look at their frozen, happy faces in the years to come. I know we live in a digital age, and that photographs may remain on their digital camera forever, or on their hard drive until the computer packs up, or until the dog deletes it, or whatever. But they might, as I try to, get their photos developed, put them in an album or always mean to, but leave them stacked in the glossy card envelope for years in a box in the attic. I like to think about people who I once shared a unknowing moment of sunshine with, a day at the beach with, a view of a waterfall with, a backdrop with, will have similar photographs, but very different memories from me of that day.
A girl may shed a tear as she looks at the happy face of the man she loves, who loved her then but doesn’t anymore, waving from the pyramids of Egypt. A father may
embarrass his daughter by showing her new boyfriend a still of her, aged four and chubby, gobbling up her little brother’s ice cream at the pier, traces of her own still evident on her pink t-shirt. An older couple may find a few snaps from a weekend away that they had long since forgot, and smile as they remember the freedom and youth of days gone by. It’s just another way that we are connected.
Interesting things can be found in the backgrounds of photographs, also. Years ago my parents were looking at photos of my baptism/christening from June 1989. In it, there was a photograph of a woman my father worked with, for only the last 10 years or so, and her husband. The lady is also my friend’s auntie, but I didn’t register that at the time… just wondered why she was there as my Dad didn’t know her yet. Then we looked up the News Bulletin from St. Mary’s Church from that week, that my parents had saved, and found out that there were 4 babies christened that day, and one of them was my friend (hi Claire!) who I met when I was 11, and I lived with last year. We were christened at the same ceremony! Fate or what?
I got a wonderful new camera for my birthday, and I really need to figure out the settings and start taking pictures of interesting and beautiful things, and making new memories, instead of neglecting it until I have a night out…