Photography is very close and dear to me. I took a few photography classes and advanced my studies on the subject, but I have no claim to fame and I would never say I came close to being a professional. I have been satisfied with most of my work with the camera and I am very proud of it. It was never my goal to be a professional, but I wanted to do my best, capture images around me in my life.
My children grew up in a house where you could expect to be photographed almost anywhere at any time (except at inappropriate times). Their friends also got acquainted with my camera and me. My mother’s father was the family photographer during his lifetime. I have a picture of him pointing his camera in the fireplace mirror, showing his reflection with his camera. He took a selfie! He was ahead of his time, as he was in many areas. It’s almost unbelievable how many photographs I have inherited from my family, and why so many had to be duplicated, I don’t know. I admit that I only get rid of the photos if they are faulty, even if I don’t know the person in the photo. Just a quirk of mine, I guess. Someone took the time and cared to take a picture of someone. Throwing away a photo is like throwing away a piece of their life.
I have old family photo albums, several from my mom. I don’t even know most people’s names, but they are so interesting in their outfit and pose. I wish I knew the stories belonging to the pictures I see. These images wouldn’t be available for me to admire if they hadn’t been close to my mother’s heart at some point. My mother passed away at the age of 56. This may never have happened, but I wish we had gathered the information for all the photos acquired so that their story could be passed on. After inheriting so many photos, I took the time to write descriptions on all of my own and older family photos that I recognized from the past. This could be a good project for readers who store boxes of photos on that closet shelf.
I have accumulated enough photographs, photos from school, sports, dance… etc. Everyone loved their gift and I was able to empty part of my reserve!
A long time ago, I read in a decoration magazine an idea for small spaces, like a small bathroom. They had hung old photos in a nice design. Their comment was, “If you don’t have enough of your own photos to design such a display, pick up old photos from local thrift or antique stores.” No one will know that you have no knowledge of their identity. I found this idea absolutely hilarious. You could even weave your own stories about these strangers. Ha!
Recently I met a friend at the Goodwill store. We were on our tour when she mentioned that there were frames for sale with pictures still inside, which immediately caught my eye. Moving on to the frames, we are gone. There we found a wedding photo and a kitchen scene photo from the early 1950s. Another photo I believe was taken in Europe, judging by a license plate, from the early 1950s. 1984. The dates were written on the back of the snapshots. I think my friend thought I was crazy, but I liked them and bought them. I told the cashier that I felt sorry for the people in the photos. When she asked me why, I told her it was sad that they were dumped! I might not know the people in these photos and I don’t know if or where they will be on display, but they have a home with my collection!
Jimmie Batchelor is retired from Henry County Senior Services in Stockbridge, where she ran the Hidden Valley Senior Center and resided for 38 years. She uses her new time to write and enjoy life!