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An Old Photo Tells You A Lot

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An old photo gives you immediate insight. Even if the photograph is of someone you don’t know or from a time before you existed, you can read a lot in a picture.

Facebook has resurrected old photos. Even I, a person who isn’t particularly fond of seeing myself on film, have dug back through old pictures to find the small slivers of time that were once a part of my life.

I especially like finding photos of my family. Some are still here, some are not.

But a photograph can give you that person back. Even if it’s only for that short moment that someone chose to raise their camera and click.

Old photos tell you what was in style in people’s homes, their fashion, what hairstyles were mainstream, and what means of transportation were a favorite of the day.

However, for the record, even when they were in, I was not a fan of avocado green and harvest gold, bell bottoms, beehive hair and the Ford Granada.

I am fascinated with photos of people from the depression. They capture a time when Americans had little, but still made sure to look their best when their photo was taken. Double-breasted suits and Fedoras were common.

Photography is now ubiquitous. It is taken for granted and completely under appreciated.

Gone are the hard copies, actual photos if you will, that we had to send off for and wait weeks to get back. Young people will never know what it feels like to take photos at summer camp and anxiously wait for them to arrive in the mail.

Photos had date stamps in the margins of the black and white images. It was the date of development, not of when it was taken, but it is now good enough to help determine the approximate time that, for a split second, the lives of those in the image would forever be preserved.

So, the next time you snap several pictures on your smartphone and post it for anyone in the world to see, just know that each one is still a Kodak moment.

You just have to take the time to appreciate them.

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