But the camera is good in representing our past. It is here that we “gaze at layers of our past being” (Family Snaps, pg 2). We don’t really remember much of when we were younger, but looking at picture albums (from a time when digital cameras were not around especially), we can begin to piece together our past. We see pictures of family events, family members that maybe have passed away, things we did when we were younger etc. Although it does not represent the entire past, it gives us a sense of who we are. I’ll look back at pictures from when I was a baby all the way until the age I am now, and that is how I put together my past. I remember things based on the photos I see and it helps me realize who I am today. “We invest our own album with the weight of childhood experience, searching it for information, pouring into it our unfulfillable desires” (Family Snaps, pg 2). It helps you to see who you are and where you came from. Without the camera, we would not have this ability to remember the past as well as this.
Not only does photographs help us to remember, but it allows us to keep our relatives that live far away up to date on our lives. Many of my family members have blogs which they post images of their new babies, events and different chapters in their lives. It allows us to somewhat experience it with them from a far. Pictures are also used to help prove someone was somewhere, as well as the images help to make sense of the world around us. “Snapshots are part of the material with which we make sense of our wider world” (Family Snaps, pg 10).
They say pictures are worth a thousand words and can help to remind us of the past. Not necessarily of exactly what happened at the time, but we can use these images to piece together from our memory the rest. With every picture taken, you are adding to the documentation of your life.