Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Quick! Get A Shot of That!

And once again we all quietly think, "Thank God for cell phones!  It wasn't always like this - the instant ability to get a shot of something.  In olden days having your picture taken was a real ordeal.  To make sure the person being photographed did not move, their heads were clamped in a brace and there they stood for up to half an hour while the photographer adjusted his camera.  There's a reason why infants and slightly older children were most often photographed in the mother's lap!  

Today the Library of Congress has the first albums which date back to the 1850s.  Back in those days, the usual photographer's target was the pater familias, the wife with the husband and quite often the first children of the couple.  Photography was expensive and few could afford more than a photo or two so each family - say the Smiths- had a Smith family album for all to share.   It was often on display in a central point in the album host's living room hence "coffee table albums."   

If these photos had been dated, listed who the people were and what the occasion was - "Uncle Jack and Barbara's wedding, 1901"  they became invaluable to genealogists.    "Ah-hah!  that fat Murphy lower lip!"  

Today it would seem that albums have become digital, too.  Numerous companies offer deals to make your own coffee table book, complete with space for captions, comments and so forth.  

All of this is in aid of something to do when The Virus has us shut up in the house.  I would bet that there's at least one collection of loose photos in anyone's house that could use some sorting and organization.  But - isn't it great to see that trip we took to (fill in) or "This is the whole story of Jack and Barbara - from dating to the wedding photos and the first kids … 

Take a trip back in time and bon voyage!

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