Our family stories through, you guessed it, our family photos can lead us back to this world where stories passed on generational wisdom and connection.
The simplest way to connect with our family stories and past generations is to start a conversation with your older living relatives.
Psychologist Robert Akeret descibes a common feeling that we have in the here and now as dislocation in time and history. Elders feel this, but youngsters feel it too.
Photos illustrate our own personal mythology. We may not readily think of the term mythology as relating to our personal or family stories. More likely, you think of the capital-m Myths, like the Greek Pantheon, or other historical stories that have informed the beliefs and rituals of entire cultures. Or maybe you think of a myth as a fairy- or tall-tale. Myth can also mean a story about our traditions or ancestral origins, which though possibly far removed from our experience, are not at all false.
Do you ever notice how photographs often lead to the telling of a story? The action of showing someone a photograph almost always starts off a story not just about whatever is evident in the picture, but also what else had happened that day, who was there (and maybe out of frame), and even what the storyteller was feeling at that very moment.
Even to a modern viewer, daguerreotypes have an aura of otherworldliness that is not inherent to other photographic mediums.