Because I’m often late to find out about the very coolest projects out there, you may have heard of Dear Photograph long before I did.
Dear Photograph, My parents still live in the same house where, as a young boy, I posed for a photo with my mom on the front steps. Fifty years later I returned there on Mother’s Day and sat once again in front of the camera with my dear, loving mom. Michael
Dear Photograph is the project of Taylor Jones. People have been submitting their pictures to the site since 2011, literally reframing images from the past through the eyes of the present.
Dear Photograph, My Mom was onto something with all her planting, I can see that now. When things get rough, find a little piece of earth and hold on. There is beauty to be had in the end. Love, Allison
“Dear Photographers” return with their print to the original location the snapshot was made, sometimes across continents. They stand in the exact spot where the original was taken, using background structures for perfect alignment.
Dear Photograph, Our lemonade wasn’t a very big hit that day. Maybe we should have used real lemons instead of all that granulated stuff. Tyge
By turns funny, sentimental, joyful, and heartbreaking, these autobiographical photos and stories compress the years or decades between the film’s exposure and the recapturing of the scene into one emotional moment.
Dear Photograph, This is an image of my great grandmother, Nana Anna, in front of my grandfather’s house (her son) 15 years ago. Her joy and kindness glow from this image which resonates in all of our hearts. Each day, I am reminded of her peace and kindness through this image and my joyful heart is a result of her unconditional love and care. How lucky I am to share in her love and last name. Nicole
Participants reflect on how their lives have changed since the original picture was taken. Sarah, who submitted a picture of her and her little sister, wrote, “Even when times and people and circumstances change, memories don’t, photographs don’t. And I think that is exactly why we hang them everywhere, because for a brief moment, even in the utter chaos of life’s changes, things become normal again when we look at them; even if just for that moment.”
Dear Photograph, I burned you once. I’m sorry for that. You take me back to a time where I thought the road we traveled would always be the one we traveled together. Now our roads have led us to different places and I’m no longer holding his comforting hands. We may not have discovered everlasting love along this pathway but I know that time will catch up to us and that our roads will cross again…it’ll only be a matter of time. Love Always and Forever, Chas
Rather than imparting wisdom to their younger selves or family members, they address their letter to the photograph they hold, acknowledging the power of photographs as containers of personal memory.
What would you say to your favorite photograph? Or rather, what does your favorite photograph say to you?