One day, in the far future, a mother or father will be sat with their child talking about the long past generations of their family. We’ve all been there ourselves when the precious box of old photographs and mementos are brought out of hiding and the stories that form our family history are passed on to the next generations. Beautiful old black and white prints from perhaps as early the late 1800’s through to the 40’s and 50’s may be part of that treasure. Beautifully presented portraits of people from another time look out with the same eyes that now look at them. Beautiful young women with immaculate hair and handsome men in uniforms pose against perfectly lit backgrounds, giving a vintage Hollywood quality to them. The images are sharp and render the details of their faces perfectly giving life to the personality within them. The old black and whites gradually give way to now slightly faded color images from the 50’s through to the 80’s and 90’s. Old high school and family portraits bring the past even more alive as the color enables our minds to connect more with what we see. Familiar faces now start to appear and we laugh to see our loved ones, so young and adorned with past fashions and odd hair styles. No matter what they look like they're still the same loved ones that we see behind the eyes.
Then a strange thing happens. There is nothing much after the start of the 21st century. Some photo booth pictures or a blurred snap from a roller-coaster ride maybe? Gone are the personalities. Gone is the connection to the generation that is now.
“I’d love to show you what Great Grandma looked like but she never left us her Instagram details before she passed.”
That phrase is destined to but uttered by millions of people in the future. That connection with the history of who we are may be lost in a sea of digital nothingness. And the irony is we take more photographs in a month now on our phones than our parents may have taken in 10 years. Are we becoming a Dark Age for our future family generations?
What will you leave behind for your children and grandchildren? Will they know you through beautiful photographs that fascinate the observer as they connect your image with the story of your life? Or will they have nothing more than a rumor of who you were?