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

Summerland cafe raises funds at free community meal

Food left over from Summerland Festival of Lights booth was served the following day

South Okanagan recovery centre hosting Christmas light up and open house

Discovery House is hosting its annual Shed the Light on Addiction campaign and open house Satuday

Former Summerland lifeguard will continue to receive pension benefits

Edward Casavant has pleaded guilty to several child sexual assault and pornography charges

Summerland grape growers issue fundraising challenge

Gerry and Kathy Ryan have donated $5,000 to the Tree of Dreams fundraising campaign

Toys for Tots to Teens at South Okanagan secondary school

For the second year Pen High is hosting the annual Toys for Tots to Teens

Video: Magicians and Bubble Wonders highlight Penticton Shriners Variety Show

The annual fundraiser filled the Cleland Community Theatre on Sunday.

Poll suggests travellers know little about air-passenger rights

The first set of passenger-rights rules landed in mid-July and the rest this weekend

Johnson claims Brexit mandate with new conservative majority

Conservative Party wins 365 seats in the House of Commons

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

Vernon bylaw says Frosty has to go: store owner

Vernon Teach and Learn told to take down inflatable snowman

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Most Read