This is Why We Photograph
Posted by Justin Case — 29 Jul 2011
A picture really is worth a thousand words. Truthfully, though, those pictures may each be worth far more.
There really is no way to adequately measure or value the power of a photo to preserve our memories, stories, legacies.
One project that has caught traction and gone 'viral' (yes, a very Web 2.0 concept) is Dear Photograph.
The concept is simple, really... Take a physical print (photograph) from the past to the location where it was shot, hold up the image and photograph that photograph in the location ... in the present.
When Dear Photograph founder Taylor Jones was looking through photo albums with his family, he noticed his younger brother was sitting in the same spot where a photo of him had been taken years before. He held the album photo up, took a new picture and posted that new photo on his site at the domain dearphotograph.com, which he'd only just registered in May.
The concept is brilliant, really, and simple and terribly hard to turn away from. Even the least nostalgic can't help to get a bit misty-eyed at the photos of now grown children when they were but tiny toddlers.
There are only 7 pages to browse through (so far). You really need to get to this site, browse each page...savor each photo.
It's a rare image that makes you sit and consider your own life, relationships and memories. This is one site that is chock full of just those kind of images. It makes you want to hug your kids, call (or visit) your aging parents, reach out to your siblings, crack open a cabernet and sit around in nostalgic bliss.
I've got countless digitized images accumulated over the years (some true digital and others scanned from prints). After spending an hour savoring the images and captions on Dear Photograph, I just want to sink into all my images and reminisce.
The future's quite bright for Mr. Jones. He's rumored to have recently signed with a literary agent in Los Angeles to get a book set up on these images and the concept. His site continues to grow, with over 33,000 Facebook 'fans' and nearly 8,000 Twitter followers. In a late update, as I type this, I'm being told the site has also been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer (tonight). All the best to Mr. Jones and his site.
This one will be on my daily visit list, for sure.