Save the Picture
One of the things that I admire about the generation that came of age in the world of digital photography is how many pictures they share, on “bad hair days.” You know, those days when what you are wearing is not exactly flattering, or the camera has captured more than you would have liked, but you are in the moment and savoring life, so you snap the picture!
I am guilty of deleting or not sharing photographs where I do not like how I look. In fact, my brother-in-law jokes about how far back Kate and I will stand in taking pictures that involve us – the smaller we are in the photograph the less you can see those flaws that I do not want to capture for eternity. However, I do also like to put my pictures in context, it is not just a photo of me on say a good hair day, but a photo of me on a good hair day in Paris, standing in front of the Eifel Tower – context does matter.
Nevertheless, when sorting through photographs, often taken moments apart, in the same light, with the same outfit, and in the same context, I do choose the picture that I think I look best in, to share. I also do this when sharing pictures of others, as well.
I remember, as a child, watching my Mother tear up photographs, and asking her why? She would tell me that she did not like how she looked in the picture. Now, in looking back, I find that an odd response, from my Mother, who was not a person one would consider vain, in any way shape or form, as they say.
Perhaps, this behavior is not just about vanity, but also history. How will we be remembered by future generations? Maybe the future generations will be okay knowing that we had bad hair days, and will instead focus on when and how and why we were in Paris? I do not know, but I certainly wish I had more pictures of my Mother, bad hair day and all.
Lately, I have been wondering if perhaps, as a Nation, we cannot look at our history through eyes that recognize that there are moments we are not proud of, actions that break our heart, but accomplishments that are worthy of remembering and recognizing, despite the flaws involved?
History should not be processed through a narrow lens; context matters . . . wait, if context and a wide angle are useful tools when analyzing historical figures, might they also be useful when looking at the people in our lives? Yes, I think I need to work on this at a much more personal level; that is all for now.