Vintage family photos from N.J.
Over the years, I’ve posted nearly 12,000 vintage photos in these galleries. It’s a safe bet that I’ve gone through 20 times that many to arrive at the ones that have made the final cut. So, I enjoy combing through old pictures; I believe vintage photos are treasures.
But, nowadays, I think there are way too many photos. Particularly when it comes to family photographs.
Digital photography and smart phones make picture-taking easier than it ever was; the camera is always there, it always has plenty of “film” and it’s almost impossible to foul up a picture as in days gone by. But, what I find missing all too often is the relaxed reality of old photos.
People know they might have their picture taken at any given moment, and often adopt a pose or expression they’ve seen on social media; an expression that becomes the same as thousands of others. Dozens of shots can be taken to achieve the “right” one.
In my opinion, though, it was the “mistakes” in old photos, snapshots with minimal planning and little chance for a “re-do” that truly captured the essence of the moment and the personality of the individuals captured for posterity.
As a pundit I know said so eloquently, old family photos are “an invitation into a moment in time unfettered by vanity.” The imperfections are what made them perfect. The next time you sort through the pictures you’ve taken, take a tip from someone who’s looked at more than a million in his lifetime: save the “mistakes.” Years from now, you’ll be glad you did.
Here are some family photos taken in New Jersey through the years. And, here are links to other similar galleries you might enjoy.