A photo is worth a thousand words, they say. Recently I’ve been digging through my old archives to find just the right images to illustrate a historical research article I’m writing for publication later this spring. I have thousands of images shot over many years and the trick is to find the ones out of the whole that specifically relate to the topic of the article.
So far I’m doing pretty well, meaning the article will have a good range of visuals. The interesting thing is that illustrating a magazine article is not at all what I had in mind when originally taking the pictures. At the time they were simply documenting everyday activities and places. 30 years later, those places are irrevocably changed and the activities are different as well. My fotos have become slices of time, capturing a world that once was. In this capacity, each photo has so many stories to tell. Some are big, and some very small, maybe down to a fashion detail on the clothing of a person in the picture.
In businesses and organizations we often forget the full story an image can tell. Pictures are shot based on our need today, not for the story they can tell years from now. Yet one day that story may become quite important. It may be just months from now, or years from now. So shooting images for today is good. Keeping posterity in mind and capturing a few extra just in case, can be even better.