“Every trail has its end, and every calamity brings its lesson!” ― James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans
This is yet another one of those instances where investigating the further reaches of my archives really tests my memory and too often my memory fails. I have for years labeled digital archive disks the same way I once labeled negative boxes, with model name, concept name, and if necessary, series order. That works for about five years, though, and then I start getting confused. Cindy? Which Cindy? I’ve been eager to open a file more than once thinking I knew the contents only to be severely disappointed. It’s never that Cindy.
Compounding the memory issues are the models who’ve been prolific in front of my camera, such as Anneliese. I have over thirty concepts shot with Anne. Some were simply labeled with a location rather than a concept. Some are only labeled with a date (what on earth was I thinking?). Which ones include Jackson? Which ones were outside? What was the name of that other model in those shots? As I look through the long list of files I wonder how many of them anyone else remembers. Did any of them make a difference, or were we just shooting for our own amusement?
Being able to remember is a big issue, and interestingly enough, pictures frequently help with that issue. For example, both my parents died while my boys were still quite young. While the older two remember visiting with them, the youngest was only four. They rely on picture and stories to keep those faint memories alive and valid. By contrast, I lost both my grandmothers when I was young as well, but there were few pictures of either of them. Keeping their memory alive in my mind is a struggle, especially as I get older. I also remember watching Granddaddy’s battle with Alzheimer’s and that scares the living crap out of me.
I should probably do a better job labeling my archives. I already have to rely on the image’s exif data to remind me when it was taken. There’s space in that data for more detailed notes and I would probably be well served to fill in that space. But then, that’s something else I would have to remember to do and considering I’m already not doing well in that category I fear the odds are well stacked against me. I’m just waiting for the day I click on a folder and think, “My, what beautiful photographs! I wonder who took them?” At least I’ll have the pleasure of being surprised.