Friday, November 26, 2010

Just for Fun - Old Photos, Friends, and What I am Grateful for on Thanksgiving

It has been a week since my last post. I was busy celebrating my birthday, playing in the ton of snow that dumped on us last week, and working on a little project... This project didn't even start out as a project. I was simply trying to make a couple of old friends from high school laugh. I posted two photographs of them, from the place where we used to work, on Facebook. I had to scan the photos to do this, and while I had the scanner out, I decided to do more, and more, and then more.

My Mom & I

I started wanting to be a photographer at the age of 7, and once I was taught how to use a darkroom in high school I started to record my daily life. This means I amassed a lot of photographs. And back in the day I was more than happy to also pose for the camera, so I often handed it over to whomever wanted to use it.

Me with a drawing I made of Madonna

I have dragged this collection of negatives and prints around with me all over North America. I grew up in Minneapolis, and then lived in Arizona, Florida, Fisher's Island New York, & Maine. And then they came with me to Ontario, Quebec, and now Alberta. Why? Because I appreciate photography and because they represented my life.

Me as Madonna, but this is not a costume

I create a lot of mixed media art now, and both it and my photography center around themes of memory and nostalgia. I originally became interested in photography because I spent hours pouring over old family photo albums. My high school images are my early recordings of my history, to live on for others in my family to look at and wonder about.

One of my favorite photos from high school

So, as I started scanning, I began posting these images, made in the late 80s and early 90s, on Facebook. I do have many of the people in the photos as friends on Facebook. And a funny thing started to happen as each day as I posted about ten more. These people started commenting. And talking to one another in the posts. Everyone was laughing and having fun reminiscing. Soon someone said it was like having a high school reunion without having one. And this coming year will be the 19th and 20th reunions for many of us. I was getting tons of wall posts each day and many private messages. The private messages all said how much everyone appreciated that I had posted these images from an almost forgotten time. Everyone was enjoying thinking about the old days. Another person said, "I still think of you all just like this," just as we are in these old photographs.

A Friend & I in a typical old thyme photo from a theme park

All of a sudden it dawned on me. I had been enjoying these photographs for years and had completely taken for granted that my friends didn't have any photographs like this. Of course they had family photographs but many of these images were taken in the school hallways, in classrooms, and in our teenage rooms, most of them in black and white. They didn't have photographs like this. Other images were the typical school photos taken for the yearbook, but many of us had not seen ours let alone our friends' in years.

Me - 8th Grade

Me - 9th Grade

Me - 10th Grade

My old friends couldn't believe that I still had these images. They have frozen us in time. And the, in some cases, bad quality of the images (I never really dusted my negs so the prints have lots of dust, and in some cases I didn't process them properly so they are starting to fade or change color) only enhances the feeling that they are from the past. One this, American Thanksgiving (in Canada we have Thanksgiving on the first Monday in October) I am grateful that I took and kept these images and that I can share them with my lifelong friends.

My 16th Birthday

1 comment:

Cosmic Noodles said...

Omg Tiffany - you are awesome! Your girls will howl at their 80's mom once their old enough, and in the meantime thanks for sharing - priceless!