Long before the epidemic of self-absorbed selfie shots and the blatant boasts of Instagram, photographs had a very specific purpose; they were meant to capture moments, preserve the fondest of memories and act as heart-warming keepsakes from times gone by. At the very heart of photography, this admirable purpose still remains, despite being obscured by the new-fangled ways of digital photography and its relationship with the weird but wonderful world of social networking. Luckily photography is adept at adapting to the new ways we have of making, keeping and thinking about it, for example, the Then and Now shot.
The Then and Now shot is spectacularly useful because it not only fulfils photography’s original purpose of memory-making and moment-capturing, it also offers a reference point. It adds a whole new dimension to photo appreciation, allowing you to clock and compare the changes that you have overlooked over the years. By looking at a photo of you and your school chums donning pristine uniform and gap-toothed smiles along with a photo of the same group in your glad rags at the pub last Friday, you can really see the changes that you hardly noticed at the time they occurred because you were too busy undergoing them. The best part is, nostalgia isn’t the only use for the Then and Now shot, you can use it to:
- Make a collage of family shots over time and show your children how they (and you!) have changed, helping them to visually experience memories they were too young to really remember
- Make the most of the craze for personalised phone cases and put a “before” photo of you on the case to act as motivation for weight loss or body building…keep pushing towards an “after” shot that you’ll be proud to flaunt on your phone!
- Remind yourself or others of special dates and occasions with a collage of meaningful Then and Now shots; a happy couple’s engagement, wedding and first anniversary photos? A baby-bump photo timeline with the bundle of joy’s first portrait in the centre? Be creative and make it personal, Then and Now shots are perfect for allowing people to record and relive their most precious moments
Whether you use your Then and Now shots to preserve, prompt, entertain or motivate, you will enjoy the unique opportunity these types of shots offer; to remember and relive all of life’s little moments that occurred between the then and the now.