Some years ago, my grandfather pulled out an envelope filled with old photographs. Some were black and white, some in color, some professional, some very amateur. Some were oddly shaped or scalloped in cut, some had remnants of glue or old writings on the back. Each one told a different story of his life. His time as a Navy sailor, when he was a librarian in public school, when he dressed up in gaudy ill-fitted suits with his friend, when he got married, when he saw the world. He spent the afternoon sharing these memories with me and afterward let me hold on to them for safekeeping. My grandfather has been gone for many years but I still keep the envelope, tucked away in a secret book. From time to time I’ll take them out and remember that afternoon together.
Our photos are snapshots in time, they outlive us when we are gone.