I've spent some time today looking at old photos. Some go back to when I as a child...some go back to just a couple of weeks ago.
I love to take pictures...it's something I have enjoyed since I was a little girl. I've always taken photos of my pets, my friends, my family, my surroundings. Some of the photos were once developed at the Photo Bug that used to be in front of where Big Lot's is now. Some of them were developed and printed at KIS Photo, Wal-Mart and Walgreen's. A few were printed in the dark room at Somerset Community College. And...as time progressed...so did technology...and pictures were no longer printed, but uploaded to MySpace and Facebook and Twitter. Some of my photos are still undeveloped on film cartridges that have probably now gotten too old to even process...and some are still on SD cards waiting to be shared. Others are on my computer at work and at home and will never be seen by anyone but me. Hundreds of photos are in boxes and albums and scrapbooks somewhere in my home and in mother's home. A few special family photos are secure in my cedar chest.
While looking at most of my online albums today, I realized how many people and places and pets and things are no longer with me. I think my whole life I have been trying to hold on to people and places and pets and things by taking their pictures. But, like Boston photographer Nancy "Nan" Goldin suggests (in the quote on the photo accompanying this blog,) I can see how much I've lost over the years by looking through my pictures. My Nannie, my dad, my DJ Kitty, my dear Trish...all lost to death. But, I also see photos of friendships that used to be and love stories that once existed. It's actually all very sobering. It's actually all very sad.
If the legend was true that a photograph could capture a soul...then I am guilty of capturing many 'souls' and keeping them here with me...close to my heart. For that, I am sorry...that was never my intent. I wasn't trying to 'steal' anyone's reflection or facade. I wasn't trying to disrespect the 'owners' of those impressions. I just wanted the memories...and wanted to keep those sweet souls close to me for as long as I could.
That being said, I don't think I will ever be able to stop taking pictures. I see too much beauty and laughter and love in the world not to try to keep just a little of it for my own selfish pleasures.
And...you know what? That's OK...because that's just who I am.
***I shot the photo above from the 'Purple People Bridge' linking Newport and Cincinnati over the Ohio River a few months ago.