While its premise is dependent upon the passing of time, Dear Photograph took practically none to become an immensely popular success. 21-year-old Taylor Jones started his blog in May of 2011, and within days he was getting over a million hits (don’t worry, HRCK the Herald, it’s just fine to be a later bloomer). Taylor takes submissions from across the globe, and the requirement is that readers take a photograph of an old picture in their current setting. Each photograph then has a little inscription that offers a peek into the readers’ thoughts regarding how their lives have changed, what they wish they had known then, or what they wish they still didn’t know. There’s a heavy dose of nostalgia/longing/regret/joy, and the site reminds me a lot of Post Secret, but it doesn’t make me anywhere near as glum about the state of the world/people’s psyches as that site now does (really! It used to have a good mix of cute and happy to counterbalance the morbid/gritty, but now it’s so oppressively sad).
Its photographs range from the lighthearted:
“Dear Photograph, Remember when the phone didn’t give you a bill every month?” Very fondly!
To the sentimental:
“Dear Photograph, I miss those days of running free and living in the moment.” So yeah, it doesn’t escape the cliche/the cheese. But this picture is one of the most liked ones on the site, so apparently not everyone is quite as cynical/anti-“gosh I just wish I could go back to kindergarten and have nap time again” as I am.
To the poignant:
“Dear Photograph, I was astounded but I han’t had time to consider what I was seeing.”
The site has loads of emotional pull, and it probably will make you want to both go through all your old albums and hug those dear to you.
(Images via Dear Photograph)