Monday, December 23, 2013

Photographs

Good thing/bad thing about digital cameras:

Good things

  • You don't ever have to worry about not getting the "perfect shot".  One of the pictures you take will have a great shot.
  • If you didn't get the shot, someone else will have - and it's easy to "share" with you.  There is no need to expect them to actually MAIL you a copy.
  • No more paying to "develop" film.

Bad things:

  • You now have 100 pictures from ONE day and can't bear to delete even the bad ones.
  • Those 100 pictures you took - are all on your computer, not in a picture book, not in easy accesible place for friends to look.
  • That "shoebox" full of pictures is now something on a computer.
Now we have, let's say 50 GREAT pictures (those on my camera, your camera, and the person next to you whom you give your e-mail address).

What about the bad photos?

But I like the bad pictures too.  I say that, but I'm the worst.  I've gained some weight and am really not inspired to do anything about it.  So therefore, I've been participating in the American Culture - of well, not participating - - finding me in a picture is a rarity.  I guess I like the bad pictures of other people.  Just not the not flattering pictures of me.

These kids are growing up with a "perfect" childhood.  Man, adulthood is going to really suck.  When they look back at pictures of their childhood - everything was perfect. Just look at the pictures.

The good thing about one of the bad things?  We are no longer subjected to "family vacation" videos. But now, I understand WHY people want to share their photos.  It's not to brag - in a "look what we did", "look where we have been sense", but more of a "I want to share with you, who I am, what I have become" moment.  It's not a jealous thing.  It's a proud thing.  And yes, I want to see your pictures too.  I want to share your experiences.  I can experience them with you.

However, it's no wonder we are more narcissistic than we used to be.  Every picture we keep, well, we look perfect. But this is a vow for 2014.  I'm getting in the picture.  

Because, I don't really remember pictures with me and my parents.  I don't have pictures with me and my mom.  Or me and my dad.  Other than special occasions. Until I was an adult.  It's okay, times were different. There were probably pictures on film that was not developed.

My kids are almost grown.  They aren't going to remember I thought I was out of shape at one point - and it was a couple of years before I was in a picture.  (Please don't tell me, "you look fine" - we all have our internal battles.)  They are going to wonder why I wasn't in the picture. They don't know about those internal  battles. They will just wonder where we were.  They will one day, they will understand - they will have their own battles.  Don't we all?

I love the surly teenage pictures where I take the picture of all the kids.  They need those photos too.

But this time, I'm including the mom.  The good photos.  The bad photos.  The I love/hate my life photos. I love/hate my mom photos.  Inclusive of all the love we have.  The wrinkles in the neck.  The "wow" she got old photos.  The "wow, that's my mom" photos. Because, they will have them.  

One photo at a time.

*****I tried, and I don't have a photo from my childhood I can find.  It's okay.  Or one that is on-line.  I can find a bunch with me and a lot of great people whom we all love.


But, here is me - in the middle of the ocean. With my arms open. Around people I love. To me, this picture is more valuable than all the rest.

No, I won't put it in a photo book.  But this, is me. With them.  With you.  Merry Christmas.

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