Hindsight is, as always, 20/20. When my husband died in 1997 and I finally got most of the 16 rolls of film from our
honeymoon developed, I found lots and LOTS of trees, buildings, lakes, and general greenery. True, there were a few breathtaking
landscape photos taken in the Smoky Mountains, but there were only three or four pictures of my husband or of me - and none
of us together.
The way I take pictures has drastically changed. I take very few "nature" photos now, and no matter
how much I dread being the target of a camera, I let my picture be taken. I don't want to be the focus of an intensive photo-search
after I am gone - I know how hard that can be.
My feelings on preserving my photos has changed drastically, as well.
While I am no longer loathe to cut up my recent pictures (never cut if you don't have the negative or duplicates!!), I am
more intent than ever to take pictures (of people) and keep them safe. I bought a better camera. I tossed my unsafe magnetic
albums and put all of my pictures into seven photo boxes. And I make scrapbook pages, generally with a lot of journaling to
give a fairly detailed description of what I was doing, thinking, and feeling at that time.
A scrapbook is many things
- a diary with pictures that you don't mind letting the public read, a learning tool, a memory keeper, and something to hand
down to future generations. Who knows what archaeologists might make of 21st century America without the personalization given
by a stray scrapbook here and there? Heaven forbid they should judge us solely on our TV commercials!! :-)