In 1944 someone stood behind a camera in Evergreen, Louisiana and captured a photograph of two military men home on leave. One, Lieutenant John Hollingshead (left), and the other, Sargent Robert Hull (right), my father. That image helped tell the story of two army buddies coping with the war.
This faded photograph is quite unusual because there was a caption written on the back. We know it was taken in 1944 and that they were in Louisiana on training maneuvers. We also know that they were at Lt. Hollingshead’s family home. Beyond that, very little is known about this photograph. But unlike most of the photos in our family collection, this one had a caption.
My father died in 1986 at the age of 62. He was the same age that I am today. He died a very young man and with him the stories of his life, including the story illustrated by this photograph.
Inevitably, time marches on and the memories of the past fade. In 1944, relatively few photographs were taken and often those memories fit inside a shoe box. Today, the volume of photographs taken each day has increased exponentially. Whereas the older photos lack a story, today’s photographs get lost in the sheer volume of data that inundate our lives.
Many very learned people are suggesting that today’s digital generation will be the first generation in the last century that may end up with no photographs of their immediate family history. When they become parents and grandparents, they will not be able to find any photographs of themselves as children. Instead, these images will be lost.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be celebrating holidays with our families. Take some time to sit down and talk about some of your family photos. Select those that have a story to tell. Ask your grandparents or parents about the photos and listen to their stories. It’s amazing the things you can learn about your own family history.
Be sure to write down what you hear. Include the names of those in the images and try and zero in on a date and location for each. Software today, like Adobe Lightroom, let’s you enter titles and captions to your photographs. Add that information. But, more importantly, print some of these photographs and create a family album or a wall display of family photos.
We’d love it if you would share some of your discoveries with us. Share meaningful family photographs that you’ve found and tell us some of the stories behind the photo. So, here’s the challenge. Take time over the holidays to discover new old family photos and interview someone to learn more of the story. Then, share the photo and story with us.
Share on Social Media
Share on Facebook or Instagram and tag @corbellworkshops - include #fadedmemories
In Twitter, tag us @corbellworkshop and include the hashtag #fadedmemories. (In Twitter there is no “s” on the end of the user id. Just not enough space.)
Win A Free Workshop!
At the end of the holidays, we will select one of the #fadedmemories images posted on social media and that person will receive free admission to our Mastering Portrait Lighting workshop - a $595 value. Visit our website for more information about the workshop.