Some of you may know that one of my favourite things to do is visit antique shops. When I was a little girl my Mom had a beautiful little antique shop of her own. I spent many hours as a child “treasure hunting” with my parents. Browsing through dusty old houses full of items from the past was a weekly event for me. At age 8 I had an obsession with vintage skeleton keys. I must have collected more than 50 of them. Everywhere we went I searched for a new key that once opened a secret door to another world! My imagination would run wild with each key I collected. I loved looking at all the items in the little shops & now as an adult I feel a strong connection to the things of the past. The old typography on packaging, the smell of old books, the intricacy of a rose printed teacup, & the way things were simply made to last. This morning I visited an antique shop in Barrie. As I was browsing I found a collection of old photographs. Some dating back to 1888. I picked up each one & held them in my hands for a very long time. The art of photography is so powerful. Those solemn expressions on the children’s faces, the clothing they wore, the furniture they sat on, it’s a history lesson as well as a part of someone’s story. Looking at the way the images were printed & preserved is another intriguing thing. The card stock was thick & heavy and some of them the edges are delicately painted in gold. They were created to last & the fact that they’re still here, perfectly intact, & have lasted more than 128 years amazes me! Back then you didn’t take 300 images in 10 seconds. You didn’t expect to receive a USB with hundreds of images from a single event without printing a single one. It was quality over quantity & a single printed portrait of your loved one was cherished for many generations. They were printed & preserved specifically to last through the years so your legacy would live on.
I can’t help but get all nostalgic thinking about how today’s society treats a photograph. Even a professional portrait. Client’s want to know how can I get ALL of the digital images on a USB? Where can I print them on the cheapest paper for the least amount of money? Or worse, “we don’t really need to print them”. Truth is, we’ve lost the real reason we take a photograph in the first place. We’re perfectly happy posting to a digital social media wall & calling it a day. But what happens years from now when that USB is obsolete? Do you remember floppy disks? They didn’t exist that long ago, but yet you can’t find a computer on the market that will retrieve that data. I could list a hundred examples of this. What it comes down to, as I looked at these beautiful prints today was the importance of a single print. A single print mounted & laminated & created to last. At the end of it all what are you leaving behind for your children, your grandchildren, your great-great grandchildren? I bet they will have no idea what Facebook even is! Heck, my kids don’t even know what a cassette tape is!
If you don’t think a photograph is important, wait until it’s all you have left*
What will you leave behind?
Life is Art Studios offers Styrene mounted prints, woodmounted wall art & heirloom quality albums! All created to last through the generations!
* quote from Missy Mwac