I think photographs do many things. It’s been said, and we’ve all heard it I’m sure, that photos say a thousand words. At the same time photos also tell lies. They are selective in the sense that we can choose which memories we want to have and how we want to look and be remembered.
With that said, I have photos of my great grandparents and my grandparents dating back to the Great Depression. My great grandmother and grandmother look happy in all of these photos but I knew them and I knew they weren’t happy. I knew they struggled, I knew they didn’t marry for love, I knew they wished they could live different lives or be different people yet they look glamorous and thrilled in all these photos, and this is what I have left of them. Photographs where I sit and search their faces for the real and raw of their lives.
The memories they left behind in these photos are memories they created and not so much lived. I believe this is the same today. Photographs have the ability to mask the truth better than we do. They also allow us to make up our own stories about them, good or bad.
This is a great story.