Moments in life happen so fast that it seems like nothing is taking place at all. Reality is unexceptional at the time, as we move on quickly each day of our life.
“Life is lived looking
toward the future.
Life is understood by
looking at the past.”
It’s amazing how much photographs from the past bring us right back to small moments of living that we’ve had with other people or alone. Viewing photographs we can immediately feel the emotion of those moments as though we were there again.
I think as we get older this becomes a powerful way to understand the uniqueness and beauty of what our lives were and what we leave behind that is valuable for our family or others to understand.
Having been a professional photographer for about half of my life, early on I developed a habit of taking a camera everywhere life took me. Like many people, I ended up with a vast catalogue of my life in pictures - fifty thousand prints, slides, and negative photos, and about a quarter million digital photos. Hundreds of old family photos and documents, too.
My son had something interesting to say when I mentioned this project...
“Photos help us remember
who we are.”
This struck me as so simple. My early career as an internet technology developer in the 1990's taught me solve complex problems by simply thinking them through with a couple of questions. So in 2018 I started to work on a solution that not only preserved photos, but also included detailed writing to describe the moment and emotion in the photo. That was the missing component that needed to be solved - how to include detailed story writing with individual photos. I then asked a question that was both simple and complex. If digital formats only last as long as there is electricity, how long could a book be designed to last?
This is the strength of the new Archive Real Life book printing and binding process. Printed books done with this new production process could be a step past the Internet in terms of communications. A new era moving back to the printed page based on creating detailed permanence of individual life histories that will last for 300-400 years.
The digital world has each of us taking lots of photographs without understanding the meaning of the moments in our own lives. The Internet creates a viewing experience that is too fast, too unedited and way too temporary. My path with this new printing technology is to listen to people who want to capture an autobiographical version of their life and create a permanent in-depth record, moment by moment, for future generations to enjoy.
Founder - Archive Real Life
Photo - Christopher Caffee / Outward Bound / Salida, Colorado 1973