I saw someone published a photograph of Christmas morning by Diane Arbus and another one by Elliott Erwitt on Christmas Day. Both were from the 1950s and they were significant because they were…old. They showed us how we used to be.
You’ve heard me say if you read my essays regularly, that photographs only get better with age. This photograph is from Christmas morning in 2021. We can’t even imagine how dated, how antiquated this will look in 50 years.
There’s a great importance to making photographs of these ordinary moments. Not the posed ones in front of the sign at Disneyworld. Not even the ones of only Christmas morning–we need photos of an ordinary Tuesday morning in February–but we need to have photographs of our lives, in context of how we are today, how we live.
These photograph will get better and more valuable as time ticks by. But we have to make them now. We can blink and have missed the last two, five, ten years of moments because we thought everyone else was taking phone snaps and there was no need for us to. Only those photos will all be gone, left in the digital dustbin.
Lost in the digital dark age.
Which photos do we wish we had made in 2012, 2016, 2019 that we would have now? What was happening then? It’s time that’s gone, moments that are lost.
Our photographs, the ones we print and frame, those are the ones that will be here. The only ones. So print and frame yours. And I’ll do the same.
It so matters. Make some, pull out the camera and create images so that in 10 years we won’t have to say, “We wish we had made them in 2022.”