I used to think that the history degree I worked so hard to get from Whitman College had nothing to do with my professional as a commercial and portrait photographer.My eyes have recently been opened to the idea that they are, in fact, the perfect marriage.
I came across this photo of my grandparents from a time when they were engaged. (Isn’t this just fabulous stuff?!?)And then I came across this from Shaunae Teske Photography and read the note on the package. (And yes, that name “Teske” was what got me following her in the first place. I’m hoping we are somehow related but at any rate she is an absolutely amazing photographer.)
And it clicked.
I’m preserving history every time I click that shutter. And so do you.
What an amazing testament to our daily social histories. Think about it. We are preserving our stories. What we eat, who we share our time with, the kinds of thing we are wearing, the activities we are doing. All of these photos are telling our story to our friends, our kids, and someday our kids and grand kids. How cool is that?
I don’t know about you, but I sure wish I had more pieces to the puzzle of what my grandparent’s childhood was like. What my great-grandparents saw as they came over on the ships from Europe and Russia and Germany. Where did they live, what did they do? How did they spend their time?
Every family portrait session preserves a part of that family’s history. The relationships between the members of the family. A face that a future grandchild can look at and say, “Wow! I looked just like grandma when she was young.” Incredible stuff.
Even the corporate stuff I shoot. Ribbon cutting events become the stuff of 75 year corporate anniversaries and end up in time capsules. Marketing photos show how we do the work we do. Someday it might be interesting as historical stuff.
But here’s the catch. Print those photos. There’s no telling what technology is going to do in the next 10 years. That disc you just bought may no longer be readable. Order a few prints! Archival prints from professionals last generations! What a gift to our future ancestors!
I’ve recently discovered I no longer have time to scrapbook in the traditional way. So it is my goal each year (and I am in no way caught up) to put together a digital scrapbook through “Blurb” that I call my “Year in Pictures”. The quality is stunning. And the 12×12 book provides gorgeous large prints on photo paper. I love them. They are time consuming to put together when you take as many photos as I do each year, but totally worth it. Check them out.
I’m a history preserver. I capture history one click at a time.