Do you think your images will outlive you? Inspiration, Q&A Why? And, Does it matter? —Peter. Related
15 thoughts on “Do you think your images will outlive you?”
Yep, because I shot Kodachrome! 😉
Indeed. Historically film has proven its archival potential.
Nope, I don’t think my images will outlive me, and that’s perfectly fine! I shoot for myself, for the pleasure of pressing the shutter, for the shear joy of engraving magical moments in my memory. I shoot to express what I do not want to say out loud. I shoot to remember these beautiful slices of life and more importantly to share them with my dearest relatives. All the rest is just noise to me 🙂
Totally understand. I wrote something similar a while back:
Though, in my case I don’t know whether my images will outlive me. And I’m not sure whether that’s important.
LIFE is like a RIVER and always in TRANSFORMATION! The most important IMAGES (of my life) are burnt in my HEART!
On the other side: when I lately saw a magnification of a slide of our family at christmas when I was a child, I was so overwhelmed that I did hang it up in my living-room and everytime I look at it, I see the LOVE of my mom and dad and it also told me, that the vision is our most important sense!
So do what you can do to save your images but with calmness!
Yes…always with calmness. Except the flesh is weak, and we think we can strive for technical perfection, so the calmness is lost from time to time – perhaps often!
Yes. As I’m a contributor to a government archive.
Perhaps a few – but only if they are valued by the people that survive me. Some will be on archival paper, so at least there will be the potential…
I photograph for the pleasure I get from it. That encompasses ideas of expression, capturing and revisiting moments, learning and improving in the craft, gaining inspiration, sharing pictures, communicating with others.
That’s a pretty good summary of how I feel too.
I take photos, in part, to document my family history. I have a picture taken of a Grandfather who died 17 years before I was born that was taken 50 years before I was born. I will treasure it for it along with the memories of my Dad’s stories is the only way I, or my children will ever know him. The same could be said of a picture of a great-grandmother, and pictures of my other grand parents. And now pictures of my Dad now that he is gone. Too many are posed snap shots or portraits (not that I have anything against those), but the ones I take try to capture a moment. My favorite is one where my then 3 year old son is helping my Dad put leaves in a bag. A copy will always be displayed prominently in my home to remind me of him, and I hope my son will cherish it as a reminder of the relationship he had with him.
It would be hard to disagree with your sentiment. I couldn’t put it better myself. Thanks for the thought.
Some of my photos and writing are intended to share with grandchildren, like an ethical will or legacy letter, my values, blessings and life experiences. I have written a book for this purpose as well as to share with others, and I will someday assemble photos in a book for the same reason, which I hope outlive me. But for the most part, my photography is intended to provide me with opportunities in retirement to express myself creatively irrespective of whether or not the images outlive me.
Very good question! Funnily and strangely enough I never considered it and now that has knocked me side ways. Some of it will, it’s already out there, but many of those I don’t care about, it means nothing to me once I’m gone. The only ones I care of in that regard is the documentation of my family. My grandfather did the same (he used a Leica 1a which I now own and occasionally use) and I cherish those hundreds and hundreds of prints, negs, polaroids, kodachromes immensely, the re-present a part of me and my parents and children too. Sadly my parents did’t really take a lot of my upbringing. I suppose I will need spend my later years wading through the decades of archives and prepare it for them, archiving it together with my parents and my grandfathers photos too.
Short answer: no.
But if you lived through a particularly interesting period of time, your photos will be valued. Think of all the photos taken (and lost) during the Second World War. Almost every one will have some historical value and many are in national archives. You could also have a few photos of people who go on to be famous (Dylan, the Beatles, etc.).
Other than that, if you take a million frames, 999,999 of them might be forgotten and never seen by others. But that one iconic shot among the million will be seen and appreciated by many people, long, long after you’re gone.
Think of Andreas Feininger’s iconic shot of the person holding a Leica in front of his face. Do a search and it’s one of the very first images that comes up – guaranteed. Feininger took many, many excellent photographs (he pioneered the use of the telephoto), but that one has become an icon.