Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thoughts

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So my last post "On Perfection" left me wondering if what I wrote was a far cry from what I meant those words to mean. Isn't that how it always is? I did not mean that photographs of every face smiling are any less wanted or pertinent to portraiture than the candid loose stuff I'm attracted to right now. I just mean that I value the latter more and I wanted to explain that a bit more.

Death has followed me around from the time I was a little girl. One of the ways I deal with the finality and mortal permanency of death it is by reminiscing. I can't backlook without visual aids so I never catch myself thinking of by-gone days without a photo album. It is cathartic and enriching to revisit life through images. Over time photographs have a tremendous potential to change. What was a hip indie outfit today will become a 2021 embarrassment, the denim uniformity of the 1990's proves that point directly. What was just a silly, out of focus snap shot of my mother's eye became a flashcard I used to compare my eye with hers.

I wonder how many great and substantial images are edited out that would have gained value later. That is what I try to consider. I have been lucky enough to photograph people who passed away shortly after photographing them. It was very nice to know that the ones they left behind had images to remind them of that lost life, especially when they captured tenderness or were candid or imperfect. Often these imperfections become perfect when they are no longer common moments that bother the perfect ones, but exceptional moments that were wonderful all along.

6 comments:

Beverly said...

Thank goodness for candid snapshots of loved ones that help us to remember those we never want to forget. I love your recent pictures of your and your kids. They will cherish those photos forever.

katie bateman said...

I feel the same way!! Your pictures are beautiful!

Kasi Good said...

The thing is, most people have so many posed pictures. They get school portraits, family portraits, etc. They know what their loved ones look like posed. What we want to remember is what they looked like when they were surprised, sad, laughing. We want to remember what they looked like when they were working, or playing, or taking care of us. Those are the moments that make a difference, not someone saying cheese for the camera.

Tricia said...

well said! I put together a slide show of my favorite grandma's life after she passed away. My favorite photo wasn't the most flattering or even one she wanted taken. It was her talking on the phone (surely solving eveyone else's problems for them, which is why she was ALWAYS on the phone), and her fiance surprised her by snapping the pic.....her mouth is open in a "dont you dare" half smile, phone shoved between ear & shoulder, and she's wearing a striped dress I saw her in often. It is a treasure. And elicited a chuckle from everyone who saw that video, because "that was Grandma". Great post ashley!

Joe and Renee Williams said...

I knew what you were saying, and I agree, wish I had the talent you have at capturing those moments!

Anna Alyse said...

and may we never forget the denim