From the Labere family snapshot collection, Lachlan Labere and son sharing a bumper car ride during the Salmon Arm Fall Fair. (Contributed)

Column: Sympathy for the camera shy and praise for the lowly snapshot

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

My sister-in-law has in her possession a somewhat compromising photo from my early childhood.

The colour-faded image, taken long before the rise of home computers and cell-phone cameras, is of my father and I lying on our stomachs on a motel bed watching television. My brother is on my dad’s back being goofy.

Oh, and with the exception of some well-placed bits of blanket, we’re all buck naked.

The photo makes my sister-in-law giggle.

My mom took the photo – as she did all the family photos. I don’t think mom would call herself a photographer, though she often had a point-and-shoot with her, taking snapshots of our birthdays, family outings, vacations, get-togethers with friends – the priceless images that, over time, would assist in providing clarity to our increasingly hazy memories.

Read more: Black Press Media’s best news photographs of 2018

Read more: Cell phone rings in 46th anniversary today

Read more: Victim in Buckerfield’s purse theft wants images of dying dog returned

Looking through my mom’s photo albums (she is the curator of early family memories), numerous images of my dad can be found, from when he was a young man to his later years. I am grateful, as I understand he didn’t like having his picture taken. I don’t know if he’d be crazy about today’s omnipresence of digital cameras.

There was an estimate in 2017 that suggested 1.2 trillion photos would be taken that year. I suppose I took my share for the Eagle Valley News and the Salmon Arm Observer. However, that visual information overload is why I’ve come to value the family snapshot most – images of moments of personal meaning. 

The 10,000 plus photos in my electronic photo album are largely of my wife and son. You might think I also don’t like having my photo taken. Maybe. But also, I’m usually the one behind the camera.

Last summer, when my brother was visiting, I wanted to show him a photo I’d taken. While scrolling through my album, he noticed several images I’d recently taken of myself while out hiking. He laughed at me for taking selfies. I remember being embarrassed, but also reluctant to tell him why I’d taken them. They are for my son so that one day, when he becomes the curator of our family memories, there’ll be a few more in there to remember his old man by. And maybe make him giggle.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Highways in and out of Revelstoke close

Highway 1 is now open to single alternative traffic, but Highway 23 south is closed

NDP bring Green New Deal to the Kootenays

MPs Wayne Stetski and Peter Julian held climate change talks in Nelson, Cranbrook and Revelstoke

Opening delayed for new campground at Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Construction of the campground was announced in 2016 and it was expected to open this year

Grizzly bear and off-leash dog encounters have caused some trails to be closed to dogs in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Though dogs aren’t prohibited on all of the trails they must always be on leash

Grass fire breaks out on highway south of Vernon

Highway 97 traffic slowed as firefighters snuff grass fire

Wildfire sparks beside Highway 3 west of Keremeos

A wildfire on the side of Highway 3 just west of Keremeos… Continue reading

Summerland relaunches net metering program

Event open house will be held Aug. 27 from 3 to 6 p.m in Arena Banquet Room

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Jaws of Life used to rescue driver in North Okanagan crash

Single-vehicle MVI causes traffic delays on Highway 6

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Most Read