The picture you’ll never see
(and photography as iconography).
Picture a young mother, sitting on a park bench on a beautiful and sunny early Autumn morning, with her two year old daughter by her side. The little girl is presenting a bouquet of dandelions to her mommy, who is intently watching her with an adoring smile.
Less than a month later, that young mom passes away.
She was my wife.
You’ll never see the photograph I took of her and my daughter that day… I’ll never show it.
It was taken on a cheap cell-phone camera, and it’s blotchy and blurry and the faces are barely recognizable. But it’s one of the most important photos I have.
You see, photographs for most of us are iconographs. In other words, they are only symbols that collectively represent and remind us of our loved ones and our experiences. They don’t need to be sharp on a screen or technically perfect, they only need to be clear in our minds and emotionally meaningful.
Let it Be and
Norway, 1965 and