An old high school friend asked me for some help. He wanted to digitize a page from our old high school yearbook to share on social media. It had been almost 29 years since a schoolmate had passed away and he wanted to share the memorial page from the yearbook.
As I looked through the yearbook trying to find the page, I was taken back to that time all those years ago. Each additional page revealed students having the time of their lives and creating lasting memories with friends. But more than that, the school yearbook represents a historical record of the school, the students, and the high school experience. The editor said it best: “Photographs are the most essential ingredients involved in a yearbook.”
Even though we live in a digital world, a student getting their yearbook is still as much a rite of passage as having senior portraits taken. They both document a time in our lives and give us the ability to remember those days each time we look at the portrait or turn each page in the yearbook.
Nowadays it seems like everybody is a photographer, and always has a camera with them. It’s right there on their smartphones. Often it seems that every moment of a day is documented with snapshot after snapshot. I encourage you to take it one step further. Don’t just leave them on your phone where they are quickly forgotten. Print them out. Put them on your walls or bookcases. Make a photo album. Create a scrapbook. Just create something that you can see and touch that is around you every day. A photograph can bring a smile to your face and create an emotional reaction as it triggers the memory of the time and place when the image was made.
So today, I take a moment to remember Tommy Lebow who passed away at a young age, but because of photography, he can be remembered with the smile he always had on his face.