Photographs run along my wall like little elements on a timeline, story tellers of the epic narrative that has become my life. The silent memories softly soar through my mind as time esculates further and further away from those moments I try to recall. Aimless in wonder, my eyes look over the expressions of everyone staring back at me.
Were we really so happy on those nights or during those endless days or in those captured seconds?
It’s always amazed me how quickly one can place a smile upon one’s face. In a shoebox of photographs- there lie a thousand different expressions, a hundred different people, a number of different places and only a few wholly truthful depictions. The smiles and poses that are imprinted on the slightly faded glossy paper are seemingly so genuine, so perfect, so honest in what they are saying…
Take a look at a picture of a bride on her wedding day…she’s laughing, smiling, dancing. The picture depicts everything one would expect to see on such an occasion. However- the picture doesn’t tell you that she almost didn’t walk down the aisle, or that her mother and father in the background are contemplating their recent separation, or that the groom to her left is wondering if he really does want to be tied down. Granted this is a Hollywood-style demise but in the end- no matter what the example, the point is still going to be scripted in the exact same way. It is still going to be said that the photograph does everything to represent the obvious but does little to show the reality of the time, of the moment.
That said - I cannot remain a critic of photographs. I love almost everything about them...from the red-eye and the self-timed sprints to stupid poses you later regret making. Roadtrips, parties, multi-shots and random moments- I love what each of my photographs say- each with a story of its own.
Granted that my captured smiles, poses and completely idiotic moments are not all haloed with dreams, goals and all things peachy but what is a memory without a photo you can look back at, laugh and say “Wow, I was fucked.”
It’s not always our finer moments in life that make us the happiest…perhaps sometimes we need to fake a smile or stick our tongue out in order for us to realize that life isn’t all that bad.