In the era in which I grew up, the camera was used as a tool to record life as it happened. Family photo albums were filled with the moments that seemed most transformative: birthday parties, family gatherings, annual holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Halloween, Thanksgiving, weddings, sporting events, and family vacations, to name a few. By so doing, time was chronicled. The results offered a glimpse into the lives of those who made the pictures. We, as viewers, were given the opportunity to visually participate in experiences that were not our own. The camera took us there. This is the visual legacy I inherited.
Both of my grandmothers were born in the late 1800s, one six years before George Eastman invented the hand camera, and the other four years after. Through the pictures they saved, I was granted an entrance to the times in which they lived. Through them I learned that the camera was the only tool in the world that allowed one to be in two places at once: still standing where I was when the shutter was pressed, and also recorded on film inside that camera—film that could be printed again and again for as long as it lasted, which I interpreted as ‘forever.’ I learned that the more I looked, the more I saw. Through their pictures I walked down their streets.
Throughout my photographic life, I have continued their traditions. Camera in hand I have reacted to what I’ve seen on the streets where I’ve lived, the places I’ve traveled, the people I’ve met, and the experiences that have shaped my life. I cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings….