Saturday, July 7, 2012

Family Portrait--A Memory

Grace, Rose, Michelle, Red, Terry. I am wearing a white dress with two
 vertical rows of pink flowers that was crocheted by Mother.
When I was about three years old, my parents took us to a professional photographer's studio and had family portraits made. Like everything else, photography was quite different then. This experience was something different and unique for me, and so it really stuck in my memory.

The photographer's studio was on Main Street. The room where we were photographed was draped in maroon velvet. The photographer was a middle-aged woman (at least that is how I remember her--to a three-year-old anyone older than her parents looks pretty old!). The camera was large and boxy, set up on a tripod. The photographer stood behind it, peering through it, and directing us as we posed and held very still.

Some time later, my parents received the proofs from which they would select the poses to be printed. The proofs were printed in some way that created a non-permanent print. They were in a red/purplish ink that would fade if exposed to light for too long. Whatever that process was, it meant you couldn't just pay for the sitting and proofs. You had to buy prints to have something that would last. However, my mother still kept the proofs that weren't selected for permanent prints. In the photo book they lasted quite a while.

Another thing that stuck in my memory about the photographer was her car. I wish I remembered what kind it was. That, as a three-year-old, I remember it at all tells a lot about how unusual it was to us in 1944. I don't know anything about where she got it, but it was a tiny European vehicle that looked to me like a toy car, something just the right size for a child. It had tiny little wheels and sat very close to the ground. I was fascinated by it!

Today, even professionals use digital cameras and easy editing programs. You can immediately see what the camera has captured and select what you want printed. Even "amateurs" with an affordable camera, a computer, and a printer can produce high quality photos. Camera phones have developed to such a point that almost any newsworthy event is captured by passersby with phones. In moments they can upload these pictures to news organizations, and shortly thereafter they are being used on television.

I love these kinds of advances in technology!

1 comment:

  1. You are soooo adorable! What a great photo. I have never seen it before!