Frozen Moment: The Role Model

On a back burner of my mind have been thoughts about photography as records of history. Luckily that burner had been turned down pretty low because that pot’s been there for at least a decade — 10 more years of history, if you will. Most of my life has been spent capturing a moment from today with little focus on the past.

The heat has been turned up by the recent discovery of the work of Vivian Maier. For me, her work is special because of the unspecial moments she captured. Some of the moments are indeed special — the faces, the events — but many are just everyday moments that take on meaning only years after the fact. Many of the best historical photos are more about the things in them and not the people. The clothes take on meaning. The cars, the traffic patterns, the lack of hats on men. This is a different kind of picture than the people and moments I’ve been capturing for 30 years. (wow, that’s a long time.)

Senior Shakara Jones runs through a tunnel of fans before the Missouri game Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011. "Shak" is a senior and one of the crowd's favorites.

But for me it took living long enough to see things from my past become history. My paisley disco pants. My first camera, a Canon AE-1 (thanks, Mom and Dad!) It’s taken time to develop this eye for the past during the present, and I’m still working on it. This image is a start to trying to publish some of these moments.

Look at the faces of the girls as Shak Jones runs through the tunnel. They look up to her, they will cheer for every basket she makes, they will line up after the games to get her autograph. The team makes a special point of getting the fans involved with the team to boost fans and “butts in the stands.” What will this scene look like 10, 20 years from now? (And will uniform shorts still be as long as they are today?!)

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One response to “Frozen Moment: The Role Model

  1. Interesting post, Karen. Thanks! The shorts-to-socks ratio kills me when I watch old b-ball games, and it is weird to have lived long enough to look back with perspective: I worked in a record store, which was about the coolest job you could have as a teenager (imho). It’s not just records that are gone, but record players, needles. . . I could go on and on, but, especially, having a teenage son, makes me realize how much things have changed in such a short period of time. Of course, your photos and all the rest have documented this (maybe without realizing it).

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