My father took an unreasonable number of pictures.
I don’t mean that he brought a camera to every event, or even that he took pictures every day. No, Dad would just hold a camera out and snap away indiscriminately, without regard to whether his intended subject was actually in the frame. There are giant tupperware tubs full of his photos…40 of them? 50? Until last week, those tubs were locked in a room in the house I grew up in, which Mom has been renting out for years.
Now though, Mom is selling that house. So, last week she drove a U-Haul to my house to unload all of those boxes to my basement. My job this summer is to organize those photos, scan in whatever isn’t completely terrible, and then transfer those photos to flash drives for Mom and my siblings. She warned me the tubs would need some organizing.
That was an understatement.
When I opened the first tub yesterday, there were photos from my sister’s birth through photos from her being in maybe first grade, all in the same envelope. Nothing was labeled…except for the photos I’d taken. Now, as anyone who has ever lived with me can attest, I’m not exactly an organized person. I mean, it’s not like we have to bring in Niecy Nash or the Hoarders team or anything, but do hope I have enough other wonderful qualities to offset my clutter or I owe my college roommates some apologies.
I point this out because there are two areas where I’m painfully organized though: my kids’ therapy, and photographs. Take this photo for example:
On the back, it reads:
Sat. July 22d, 2000
The Slacks’ house
Youth Conference 2000
Before the Captain’s Ball
Clockwise from left: (then every first & last name)
And that’s how I’ve labeled every photo I’ve ever printed. I was reluctant to use a digital camera because I knew I’d lose this ability. I at least keep digital photos in folders by date and event. Apparently I’m the only one in my family to do this, which is why I’m now the family historian.