I recently discovered a giant stack of photo albums from my childhood, and was surprised by 1) how, ah, vintage they look, and 2) how many photos are clustered together from a particular event (Christmas morning, say). If you put them together in a little flipbook, you could almost see the day progress.
You can also tell when my family lost their obsession with the newfangled Polaroid, because photos drop off sharply after that, then pick back up at random stages. A thousand pictures of a random campground; two badly-lit photos of my grandparents' 50th anniversary.
The digital era has allowed us, if nothing else, to become more consistent with our photo documentation. Most of us take photos nearly every day now, even if it's just a cameraphone picture. But imagine a video made from footage shot every week for 12 solid years—one that captures a child's life in startling detail.
You've seen these types of montages before, I'm sure, using just snapshots: Someone takes a series of still photos and strings the results together to show how life progresses. A woman's belly grows bigger and bigger and suddenly she's holding a baby in her arms, a guy creates a jerky, mesmerizing time-lapse video of his trip around the world.
This one's a little different. Frans Hofmeester filmed his 12-year-old daughter Lotte each week for her entire short life, and edited the clips into one amazing home movie. Starting when she was a tiny newborn in a crib, and ending with her now, at age 12, we see Lotte growing up before our very eyes.
Take a look at this dramatic segment:
To be honest, I could barely make it through the whole thing because it just reminds me of how fast my own kids are growing and how the years really do fly by and—hang on, I need a tissue over here.
Okay, I'm better now. ANYWAY, regardless of how ridiculously sappy it makes me feel, it's a fantastic creation. The fact that he used video instead of stills adds a powerful dimension to the project, allowing Lotte's personality to shine through. You really can see her growing and changing, not just her physical appearance, but the way she becomes more animated, talking and smiling with her dad.
What an amazing way to capture his daughter's life, and what a gift for her. I sometimes feel like technology can distance us from the moments we're living in—like we get too caught up in trying to document and share pictures to really be present in whatever we're experiencing. But this is a superb example of how we can all can use the tools available to us to do things those old cameras could never do.
I'd say it's actually possible to create deeper, more meaningful memories these days ... although I suppose it may be that in 30 years, these videos will look just as outdated to us as my old Polaroids.
Do you think the videos and photos we take these days will be better mementos than the photos from our own childhoods?
Image via Vimeo