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Memories in the making

In 2008 I started a project I wish I’d started earlier:

Every few months we get out the tripod, switch the camera to auto, and take a photo of ourselves in front of the house.

I got the idea from a newspaper article.

Some of them are taken just as we leave on a weekday morning, in school uniform/work clothes. Some of them are on a weekend. We try to stand in the same positions each time. Mostly just standing, smiling. Occasionally we’ll do an extra shot in a funny pose.

Over the years, it’s starting to show the kids growing up, all of us getting older, them getting taller, me getting greyer. And the house, now just on 80 years old, remains the same (though we’d keep doing it if we ever moved).

I think everybody, especially people with kids, should consider doing something like this.

It’s priceless memories in the making.

(Sorry no, I won’t be posting the photos publicly for the moment.)

Update: The Age’s Good Weekend magazine of 12/3/2011 had an example of this — pictures of a family every year since the 90s. It was a reprint from this Guardian article, where you can see all the pictures.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “Memories in the making”

In my family we have meeting at least once a year for the last 30 or so for formal dinner at one of my siblings. Before the Dinner we take formal photos of each couple and their kids and now grandkids and also any hangers-on.
Its a great record of life and times. These days when we look back, its mostly comments like “ooh look, there’s Fred when he had [black|some] hair”
Unfortunately though, we are all at the age were some of us go missing between meetings and its a very strong reminder of that also.

Given where you live, it’ll probably looks something like the opening titles to “The Sullivans”!

That’s a great idea.
I’ve got an SLR that I use a lot (whether Love Chunks or Sapphire like it or not) but we do have an ancient video camera that we whip out every six months or so to catch Sapphire doing something. Every now and then we string them together and feel quite amazed at seeing her ‘grow’ before our eyes.

Have you never seen the movie “Smoke”?

The character played by Harvey Keitel takes a photo (with his SLR) each day at the same time outside his shop. The photo is always of the same scene – the intersection the shop is on the corner of. And the picture is never of himself, just the scene of.the people walking by. Then he prints them out and puts them in photo albums in chronological order.

His action leads to an integral scene later in the movie (no, it’s got nothing to do with with witnessing a murderer or anything ‘exciting’), and the camera itself, well, that is part of the story too. Don’t leave before the film *really* ends.

If any of you have never seen the movie, please do. It’s a classic.

A former professor of mine had a sequence of photos of his daughter (take on her birthday, I think) standing in the same place in their garden, up against the house. It was quite magical to look across the pictures.

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