Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Reading, Writing, and Viewing: Old Photos and the CCSS

Moments after I hit "publish," I got a note from a reader who shares my family tree and who has shared more than a few summer-fall-winter-spring-happy and sad memories.  I smiled as I saved these images to my own digital notebook.

At first glance, you see a family all dressed in outfits that Jackie Kennedy (before she became Onassis) would have endorsed!  Stylish, straight sheaths on the ladies and freshly pressed shirts on the boys.  Those boys, as expected, had on jackets and ties (even the little one) even though the sun was beating down on their shoulders.  The girls, as expected, had crinolines under their dresses and matching cardigans around their shoulders.  Even if they were hot, they stayed neat for the photo! 

I'm confident those boys would have preferred to be playing catch, going fishing, or building a fort and dressed, under duress, at the very last minute possible!

I am certain those curls, on the girls, were not natural, but the result of a night (and the morning)spent in bristly rollers wrapped in a bandana.

I am sure that one (or more) of those perfectly dressed children above might have done at least one (or more) thing they shouldn't have done during the days before or after these photos!  It's possible that one (or more) of them got in trouble just before or after the photo shoot!  (I choose not to share those memories).

I know both of those smiling-for-the-camera women (like their style-mentor-Jackie) had big-worries, serious-concerns, anxiety-provoking problems and life-altering issues lurking even as they smiled assuredly into the camera, for posterity, that day. 

I suspect that the invisible camera-man was happy when the combinations of visiting cousins and sisters-in-law were finally all photographed! 

One central message that seems to be emerging from my own recursive "viewing" of  photos this summer is that you have to look closely at and think deeply about what was captured in each image and try to determine what those posing wanted others to see and know. 

There is always a story behind the image.
Gee whiz, that is just what you have to do when you read!   


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