I recently spent the weekend at my boyfriend’s family’s cabin and their good family friend John was there. I never met John before, but got to meet him right away when we got to town. We were around each other a lot during the weekend due to the fact that everyone went out hunting and I stayed at the cabin to relax and read my book. I wondered what it would be like staying at the cabin all weekend just John beings we had just met and there was an age difference. Well as it turns out, John and I very quickly discovered we both have a similar interest in photography. Brady started showing John all my night photography I enjoy taking and John told me about how he has taken travel and landscape photos all over the world. I was immediately intrigued. The more time I talked to John and spent with him, the more I liked him. He is extremely kind and just an overall happy and positive person; the kind of person that makes you want to be better and makes you realize how precious life is.
While I was getting ready one morning, John approached me this camera to show me pictures of his family and home and it made me realize how different our generations experience and perceive photography. John is from a generation that takes photos of family, vacations, home, and memories you would never want to forget. I am from a generation that takes photos of everything under the sun, from what we had to eat that day, to our outfits, to selfies. I started to wonder why we feel the infinite need to document everything that is happening to us all the time, even if it’s frivolous like what we are eating or doing right in the moment. I’m no better, I do these things every day and think it’s totally normal. I even go as far as to feel weird if I don’t documents these things that are in all reality worthless and I can go without documenting and remembering.
I started to talk with John about the topic, expecting him to think, similar to every person his age does on the subject of social media my generations ways, but he surprised me greatly. I was expressing how his generation captured actually important moments in life that are precious meanwhile my generation (myself included) captures silly things throughout our day and selfies; but then John just simply said that stuff is important too. I was shocked that he agreed with my generations ways and I questioned what he meant and he stated that obviously those things are or were important to us at the time and that’s all that matters. He said if we felt the need to take a picture of it, it must have meant something in that moment and that it doesn’t make it any less important than any other picture.
I started that weekend off not thinking anything in particular about photography in regards to my generation, then became embarrassed by our tendencies, then in the end realized it matters to us and makes us happy to capture these things and that’s all that matters. I find it interesting to reflect on how imagery and photography has changed greatly over time and sometimes laugh at the things we are doing today on social media, but then I realize it is what is important to us in that moment and even thoughit may be silly and a little crazy, our generation is so connected and we are always evolving. Who knows how the next generation will go about capturing life and the differences and change is amazing, no matter how vastly different or peculiar it may be at the time.