There was a time, children, when phones did not come equipped with cameras. I should know; I lived through those dark days, and even for me it’s now a concept that is difficult to grasp.
Back in the olden days if someone, a man for example, wanted to take a photograph of his daughter holding his first born grandchild, he would likely have to wrestle a roll of film into a boxy camera, maybe a Brownie, carefully aligning the slots of the undeveloped film onto a cylinder-shaped sprocket-type mechanism. He’d have to shut the case and advance the film until some vague sign from the gods told him to stop.
There might have been much fumbling and cursing as he went about this task. I wouldn’t know—I was only two and a half months old.
The man would then carefully consider the lighting and the background. He would try his best to capture a moment worth saving. You see, there were no editing options on the side of the camera. No cropping capabilities without actual scissors. Oh, and weeks might elapse between the day the image was snapped and the day it could be fetched from the drugstore, and even then one might receive only unfocused double exposures or even pictures of nothingness.
For the man, photography wasn’t a hobby. He just needed a visual reminder of how his daughter looked as she held her own daughter on an ordinary day. A moment in time that would pass and never come again in exactly the same way. A memory that his granddaughter would one day, 65 some odd years later, take a picture of with her cellphone to post on Mothers Day.
He succeeded, and I am grateful.
Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful mother. I miss you every day.