I was looking at family pictures the other day, and I noticed just how many of these pictures used cars as a backdrop for the picture. I began to wonder why that is. Maybe in the beginning, when cars first came out, it was because cars were such a novelty. I can completely understand having your picture taken with a treasured automobile, or one that has been fixed up as a show piece, but these were daily drivers, so what was the draw to include them in the picture? I mean, it’s just a car…right?
Nevertheless, here in the family history, I find shot after shot of people sitting on the running board, standing beside and even sitting on their cars in the picture. Personally I have always preferred some beautiful scenery as the backdrop for the pictures I take or those I have taken by someone else, but maybe that’s just me. The latest thing in pictures seems to be the railroad tracks, not that the railroad tracks are a totally new idea either; or even pipes in an alley or an alley stairway. I suppose these are something different, and that is the draw, but they are not my favorite scenes.
The car, however, seems to be the backdrop of choice in all sides of my family. I guess that we all just love our cars. Even I have had my picture taken in a car, back when we owned a sports car. Maybe it is a status symbol, and we just have to show the world that we are doing quite well financially. That might work, except, my family doesn’t really seem the type to feel the need to flaunt the things they have been blessed with. No, for them, I just think they really liked their cars and wanted to have a memory of them.
In the family history writings of my Uncle Bill, you will often find that he tells you the year, make and model of the car he was driving at the time of an event. He really liked cars, and he felt that they were a part of the family history, because they depicted the way things were in the family at that time in history. I guess that in the modern era of cars, computers, planes, and other such advanced technology, we will see more and more pictures of people with things that are in some way of value to them. And maybe that it why I like having pictures of scenery in my pictures. I love to hike, so nature scenes are the things I like…the things that have value to me….making me the same as everyone else who takes pictures with the important things in life. Who knew?