Ever flipped through those old photo albums, bursting with memories, and wondered what became of this and that? Ever felt the wish to grab the photos and take them with you to see places? Well Taylor Jones did, and one year after, he has a very notorious blog and a photo book coming out. Come and meet the Dear Photograph Project: the next picture uploaded might as well be one of your old ones.
“The idea behind Dear Photograph is simple: hold up a photo from the past in front of the place where it was originally shot, then take a picture of the picture, adding a dedication about what the photograph means to you.” Taylor Jones (read his story here)
Taylor Jones started this project about a year ago or so he tells us.
And it all started with a family reunion, of going down memory lane, and looking at pictures, and having the uncertain, yet amazing feeling of seeing the past and the present blend inside the frame of an old photograph, as you hold it in front of the place it was originally taken. He immediately registered it with his camera, and then a few more, and the he uploaded it into his brand new Dear Photograph blog and soon enough, people were noticing and accepting his invitation to participate. To the point that he now has 5 to 10 submissions a day from all over the world, and his favourites will be featured in the pages of a book that will soon be released to the public.
All pictures are accompanied by a brief caption, a message about the subject being portrayed in the past.
What immediately called my attention to the bunch of pictures I stumbled upon while surfing the Internet, were the marvelous memories being brought back to life, all the way from the old squares of paper, right into the here and now, gaining a whole new meaning.
It felt like the experience of bringing the old analogue back to life, but in a much more personal way. The fact that the old pictures being re-captured, came out of old film cameras, and old film canisters, and exist today still in old photographic paper, was only the tip of my love for this project. What I love the most is how the medium of the analogue, that we so excitedly defend, gained a bigger dimension by bringing the fond memories of the past into the present and becoming something new again, something wonderful.
After navigating a bit of the blog where the Dear Photograph project started, I immediately felt compelled to travel all the way to my childhood home, and grab those old pictures and dusty photo albums. To just sit and smile in fond remembrance, because that is the power of photography: the survival of the special moments, and the regular moments, and the moments in between. And this project grabs all that potential and allows it to gain new meaning, a new medium to share those memories; to make them grow in new and different directions, joining the old analogue and the new digital in new and exciting ways.
I imagine everybody will have a different reaction to this project, but I honestly believe it will be a very personal and emotive one, because it brings to light just how powerful photography really is. Especially with that old, dusty smell that old photographs carry with them.