22 October 2013

Who is ALWAYS Missing from Family Photos? How Will Descendants Know About Them?

Selfie taken 17 October 2013, NC State Fair
Copyright, Diane L Richard

Are you one of those people who resists being photographed?  Do you know of someone in the family who is never to be found when it's time to take pictures and/or declares that they will NOT be in any photos?

I do -- my dad's 2nd wife is #1 on my list.  If, over the last 20+ years I have 10 photos of her I would be shocked!  And, my own mother, my dad's 1st wife, was not much better though we do have a horrible set of family photos through time to show she was present and accounted for!

Obviously, these are examples of people purposefully making sure they are NOT photographed.  What about the person who is always taking the photographs?  Do you have the family photographer who is busy snapping away and then you find that after every event, that person forgot to ask someone else to include them in a photo and they laughingly are identified as the ghost family member?

Even for all the pictures I take, I will meet my dad for lunch and then another lunch and then another and just "forget" to take out the camera to take his photo.  And, as a retired couple, it's not like my dad and his wife are out and about having others take photos of themselves.  I'm not even sure that my dad owns a camera and I know that they don't have smart phones with built in cameras.

I was reminded of all this when I recently read the post Unintentionally removing myself from family history. The author states:
The result of my photo aversion is a lot of family history documented without everyone accounted for. It’s easy to do when you volunteer to be the photographer. Fast-forward to when I try to make one of those cheesy bulletin boards filled with family photos for my daughters’ weddings, will I have to search far and wide to find myself? I might.
Her post was prompted by the post Lessons Learned from a Year of Staying in the Picture.

I will say, that as time goes by, though I still take photos of things (pretty flowers, neat architecture, critters, and more), the photos of my family are what are most precious to me.  I have even started taking "selfies" with my kids or even the whole family so that we have those images to share in the future.  Are they often the prettiest photos in the world?  Heck no! Do they remind us of fun times?  They sure do!  Check out the "selfie" at the start of this post (taken with a smartphone).  It was just taken a few days ago.  It reminds me of a fun day at the NC State Fair, that we visited the duck/geese pond, and had a blast watching them (as we munched on yummy honey sweetened cotton candy!).

So, if you or others you know are always missing from the photos, how will your descendants know what you look like? The activities you participated in? The life you led?

Trust me, just as we crave to know about our ancestors and how they looked, our descendants will want the same!

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