On Motherhood & Sanity

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

on family, old style photo apps and irreplaceable moments

Engelberg, Switzerland

I love looking at old pictures of my family. It's funny how many apps there are out there today that  try to replicate those imperfections: the matte washed out colours, the high contrast, and don't even get me started about the vignette... The thing is,  once taking a perfectly balanced and focused photograph got easy, the challenge  became  finding more subtle ways to incite emotions.  A little like what happened with painting, at some point replicating the vase was no longer enough, and so all the fads -impressionism, abstract, etc took over.

Focused and balanced is no longer good enough, it's all about using tone, colour and contrast, the more subtle tools to underwrite the message, often taking us back  to the sacred and irreplaceable photos  that used to hang along the stair case or over the chimney.

As much as I love  candid un-posed portraits, I also love posed large-family group  portraits, partly because of the challenge it entails to get a group of people organised and looking decent, partly because,  as  a nomad from  a nomad family, this is a rare event, and - like in the old days- mementos of these reunions are invaluable. They represent what photography once was: a treasure from a moment that may never again be replicated.