accidental historian

The reference to “boxes and boxes AND BOXES of pictures” left behind gets me all buzzed like a kid staring at a pile of wrapped birthday gifts. But a documentary with updates about all of these people later in life?! Well just slap me silly! And yes, I am aware that this probably doesn’t excite most of you as much as it does me. I can’t deny that I am a dorky, NPR listening, documentary watching nerd. Probably good you know this about me right out of the gate. You can cancel that RSS feed in your Google Reader right away (although I sincerely hope you don’t). Here’s something else you should know about me. I know I’m going to wonder in 30 years what became of all the babies and children I photographed. I know this because I wonder about them right now. What will they be? What marks are they going to make on the world? Then I wonder what their adult selves will think when they look at the photographs I took? Are any of them going to remember me? I’m aware my photos can’t compete with the daily snapshots their parents took of them in the bathtub. For them, our contact has always been very brief. Just an hour or two of shooting time. But for me, in a way, I feel like all of these babies and kids are a little bit *mine*. It sounds cliche and sappy (perhaps creepy), but I love them. Stop gagging! When I’m old and gray, I will always wonder about them. And at the end of the day, if I never see them again, I will always hope they are happy.
The creators of this film call the photographer Frank Pease an “accidental historian”. What an honor and a legacy.
~Thank you to Robert who shared this with me.

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