Dear PhotographBook - 2012
We all have moments we wish we could relive. We'd give anything to skid down the toboggan hills of our youth, to breathe in the smell of our children as babies or to spend just one more minute with a loved one we've lost. Dear Photograph provides a way to link these memories from the past to the present.
The idea is simple: hold a photograph from the past up in front of the place where it was originally taken; take a second photograph; add a sentence of dedication about what the photograph means to you. The results, however, are astounding, which is why millions have flocked to the site, and thousands have submitted their own Dear Photographs.
This stunning visual compilation includes more than 140 never-before-seen Dear Photographs. By turns nostalgic, charming and poignant, Dear Photograph evokes childhood memories, laments difficult losses and, above all, celebrates the universal nature of love.
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Take an old favourite photograph. Go back to the same spot from which it was taken, and take another while holding the old photograph within the frame. Add a dedication to the resulting picture. What you get is a small wormhole that brings the past into the present, and a book full of such photos from submissions to the website DearPhotograph.com, taken all over the world by people willing to share their memories. Some photos seem sweet, some are nostalgic, some are full of regret, and some of the photos are giddy with the foolishness of youth. Some of the captions are straightforward (“Dear Photograph, Can you tell him to turn around? I wanna see that cute little baby face again. –Nicole”) and others are intriguingly enigmatic (“Dear Photograph, You're the only memory I have left of this. -Louis”) – and all are fascinating in both their familiarity and mystery. (One very familiar photograph was taken in a post-tornado Goderich town square.) A picture is worth a thousand words, is what they say. The photographs and captions in this collection are worth a thousand questions. They have their own histories and tell their own stories but each one is really a secret - except to those who recognize them. Part confessional, part photograph album, Dear Photograph is an enchanting and captivating peep into the hopes, regrets, dreams and memories of others; a thought-provoking book that is sure to start discussions, bring back memories and to inspire new ones. Find it and other titles reviewed in this column at http://spl.bibliocommons.com under the tag shelf life reviewed. ~Robyn Godfrey, Collections Librarian
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