Old Photographs are Treasures from The Past
This is a guest post by photographer and artist Ana Ramirez at anaramirezphotography.com
In a recent effort to clean out unused things in my apartment I opened a box that had remained sealed since my move to California.
I hadn’t bothered to open it because I thought I knew what it had inside: a ceiling fan with blades that look like chili peppers that I was saving to install in the kitchen of the dream house I was going to buy.
Knowing my mom had packed it, and knowing her undeniable efficiency in filling every empty space when she organized things, it occurred to me that there might be something else in there.
Of course there was. But I didn't expect what I found - a box of slides! The photos were all from our time in Pennsylvania which was between 1979 and 1983. Some of the photos were taken in the photography classes my mom took, others were from my grandmother's visit, and no photo treasure is complete without embarrassing photos of the kids (in this case my friends and me).
It was a wonderful surprise. That box had been stored in all the different places I'd lived and I never knew how valuable it was. I felt lucky that even though it had been through heat, cold and humidity, the slides were in perfect shape.
This is one of the reasons photos are so valuable. They connect us to our history and to family members who are no longer with us. With photos we can re-live special moments and take note of funny little details, like crazy hair-do’s, orange shag carpet, fun fashions and avocado-green refrigerators. The stories, and the memories, all live in those images regardless of the artistic quality of the photograph.
It doesn’t matter who took the photo, if it’s if it’s clear or blurry, if aunt Sue thought it made her look fat or if the flash gave everyone red eyes. If it’s one of the few photos of your uncle Ted, it’s worth so much. Photographs document the growth of little ones and give parents all sorts of ways to embarrass their teenagers. “See the photo of him as a child? His son looks just like he did at that age."
Photos remind us of our family, relationships we’ve had, pets we’ve loved, and homes we’ve lived in. Even those that have an excellent memory forget details and find joy in remembering the past with the help of old photos.
All these people, places and events—good or bad—are part of who we are and that’s why those photographs are treasures.
About the author: Ana V. Ramirez is a photographer, writer, artist and dog mom but not always in that order. Her favorite subjects include the ocean, piers, flowers and butterflies. When she's not out taking photos, she can be found reading or drawing while her dog, Bruno, keeps her company. Read more from her and see her photographs and drawings at anaramirezphotography.com