This is an insight from my Adventures in Lightroom. I have years and years of digital images that I’m uploading, organizing, editing, etc. Nothing special ‘bout that. But I also have stacks and stacks of negatives that require scanning. As anyone who has undertaken this type of project, you know how arduous and time consuming it is. Add to that my limited scanning abilities, and it’s almost an overwhelming challenge.
But all of that aside, as I’ve been deep into my back catalogue, I’m constantly confronting something I read from Sally Mann: “Photographs supplant and corrupt the past, all the while creating their own memories.” When I encounter an image that I had forgotten, I am immediately returned to the moment of the shutter firing. I re-see what I saw then, though filtered through my current situation. This is a notion I intend to explore in more depth, later.
This image triggered a different insight. I recently posted a photo of my oldest son. In it, he is in middle school and running a race at his school’s annual field day. He responded with, “That’s still my running face.” And he’s right. And that’s true. Not only for him, but I suspect for all of us. If someone takes enough photos of us (as I have done of him), you are bound to discover certain “go to” looks, signature looks. These appear in us early and stay with us, even as our bodies morph and change. One will still find that recurring look, stance, tilt of the head, etc.
Not a great revelation, but proof of something my mother likes to say, “We’re all creatures of habit.'“