Sunday, July 27, 2008
It's amazing how a simple photo I had taken during a venture to an antique store could change how I see life through photos. A framed portrait taken of a mother and daughter possibly during the Victorian era, came across my eyes for the second time while sifting through photographs I had taken that day at the antiques mall. "Why so intrigued?" you might ask yourselves of me. Well, maybe it's because the hormones from my recent childbearing hasn't worn off completely and I find myself feeling rather “sensitive." Or perhaps, it's knowing that in my photo, I caught a glimpse of a mother and daughter whose names and faces no one alive could possibly recall. I wonder to myself, ‘Well, who were they? What were their names?’ As I stare at this photo, the thing that strikes me the most when looking upon the faces of this pair is that they have such a soft look about them. The tenderness and love between mother and child glows sweetly from beneath the glass of the frame. My eyes are drawn to the face of this little girl. Her eyes gazing so intently into the camera lens that originally captured her image; her lips gently pulled back imposing a smile. ‘Did she know her photographer? What stories would she tell?’ Then, I think back to photographs that my Grandfather and I have gone over. Old photos of family and friends that I am surprised, thankfully, he can still give names to. But there were other photos that didn't have as much luck with his rather keen memory. Truth is there are thousands of photos of people scattered across the country collecting in antique stores, or commonly stashed away in our dark attics, with not a name to place them. They are faces of those who at one time meant something to someone. Maybe they weren’t famous, but rather simply well known amongst a few many, and yet, all too soon forgotten after just a few generations.
Photography to me is no longer just about taking a picture fit for a frame. Photos now have a deeper meaning. They are images recorded in time. Stories captured in a moment. After I am gone, I'd like to think that my children's children will still be able to pull out a photo, worn and faded, of me and say, "Her name is Kathryn Evans. Some called her Kathy and some called her Kat. This is what she looked like and this is her story..." (blog originally posted in 2007 on www.myspace.com/gypsypicsphotography)