Blog 4: Revised and Shortened Digital Story Narrative Based on Your Portfolio One Family Photo Narrative, Due Sat., 10/17 by 11:00 p.m.

Please cut your family narratives to 500-600 words and post it here. This will be the written text you will record for your digital story/movie. As you rewrite this, focus on what you want to capture, the purpose, when you merge the written text with your photos. If your first portfolio lacked concrete details, you will need to provide more concrete description as the story transfers to a visual medium. This post is your “rough” narrative; the hard copy is not due until Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Review the handout,  “Seven Elements of Digital Storytelling,” that provides a template and framework around which to write the narrative. Also, be sure to visit UR’s digital story link (on digital schedule) to get a sense of what the final products look and sound like.

12 Responses to “Blog 4: Revised and Shortened Digital Story Narrative Based on Your Portfolio One Family Photo Narrative, Due Sat., 10/17 by 11:00 p.m.”

  1. gallanttracy Says:

    The Martin Family had received a private tour of The White House. My sister had an internship with The Office of the Fellows and my family and I went to visit her over Thanksgiving. We were outside in the garden and my mother asked if our tour guide would mind taking a picture of our family. It was impromptu and out of context, however we managed to get a family photo at The White House. My house contains a lot of pictures: some are of my mom and dad, some pictures are artwork, but the majority of the photos in my house are of my sister and meIf a guest were to walk through the Martin household, he or she might think along the same lines as Bell Hooks in his essay known as In our Glory: Photography and Black Life, “The walls of pictures were indeed maps guiding us through diverse journeys” (85).
    The trees in the back are barren and leaves are on the ground and in the bushes. In the right corner the viewer can see part of The White House; this is where the Oval Office is located. The picture may appear to look as though there are power relationships within my family; however, this is not the case. This picture was taken to freeze a moment which my family will never experience again, a private tour of The White House.
    We take pictures at joyous occasions such as graduation, a trip to Las Vegas and a tour of The White House. We wanted to have the appearance of a happy family. It was also important to have a piece of The White House in the picture. A national landmark holds an elite precedence in peoples’ minds. If this were a picture of my family and me in our backyard with our house in the background it would not have been in our family photo album.
    The way my family is arranged is how we are positioned within our family and the world. My parents both work and support our family, they are the post. My sister and I are between my parents, which represents how they treat each of us as though we are spoiled. They love and cherish us. My parents do everything they can to give us an amazing life; they put us on a pedestal. The arrangement of the photo was not planned; however, it is, coincidently, how our family works.
    My parents have several pictures on their mantle. One is of two of them at their wedding. The majority of the pictures, however, are of my sister and me.
    My sister and I have both moved out of the house. My parents miss us both. They enjoy seeing us happy, which is why the pictures are of us doing things that we love. My sister has two pictures of her running. Running is one of her favorite past times. She does it to relax. My images are of me playing golf. My parents are extremely proud of what I and my sister have accomplished. They enjoy looking at these pictures and also enjoy “showing them off” to their guests.
    The greater parts of my family portraits represent a family that is happy and travels frequently to unique places. They are taken out from time to time to reminisce about the extraordinary times that we have had. My family is caring; we enjoy each other’s accomplishments, which is why they are spread throughout our house. Our family photos are rare; however, when they are taken they are cherished forever.

  2. Innovative Mark Says:

    The phrase, “A picture says a thousand words” is used over and over again by countless people, but most of the time we only glance at photos, and consequently, we read the wrong words. For instance, if anyone were to look at my family photos, they would see a happy, loving and problem-free family without any worries in the world, but that is only what we want you to believe. Society tells us to take pictures at holidays and graduations and put on a big smile, so we do, but unlike when I was younger, it is mostly staged now.
    When Christmas time came around, my family took the stereotypical family Christmas card photo. My family was very intense about this card because it portrayed our family as the twenty-first century Brady Bunch. Although we complained the whole time that our ties were too tight, we loved the idea of the Christmas card
    Things changed. As the years progressed, the photo started to become more casual. Even one year, my mom forgot to send the cards out because it was no longer a priority. I cannot remember the year the photos stopped completely, but they did. Rarely does my family even take photos just for us at Christmas anymore.
    Every year, my family spends at least one entire week away on vacation together. This was always my favorite week out of the entire year simply because I was able to spend the entire week with my family. My family used to rent a condominium in the Jersey shore every year and we always brought back tons of photos. One year was different though. I can distinctly remember my family vacation when I was twelve because my family decided to go to Mission Bay in San Diego. We took one photo in San Diego where we all were standing in front of the beautiful Mission Bay just around sunset. I loved this picture so much that I even hung it up in my room. However, sometime over the years, I managed to lose the photo. Shortly after, my family stopped doing vacations.
    It has gotten to the point now that I have no family photos in my possession. I was asked to bring in a family photo to class, and the only one that I could find was one picture on Facebook of my family at my cousin’s wedding. The worst part about it is that it is not just my immediate family in the photo, but rather my entire family that includes a lot of cousins, aunts, and uncles. At first glance, this photo appears to be of a joyous family celebrating a wedding, and that is true, but only half true. If closely examined, there is some tension in the photo. No one in my immediate family is standing next to each other, and this is typical in most photos like this. My family, as demonstrated in this photo, has not only physically drifted apart, but has emotionally drifted apart as well.
    By looking at this picture of my family at my cousin’s wedding, no one would know that I got in a big fight with my mom twenty minutes before this picture was taken, or that my brother had not been feeling well all weekend and had to leave the wedding earlier than everyone else because my family now stages emotions in pictures. For my family, pictures use to be a way of bringing each other together and remembering special moments, but now due to our loss of intimacy, pictures have sadly become just a forced ritual.

  3. dRaMaTiCdAnIeLlE Says:

    Precious Memories
    Pictures are often said to be worth a thousand words, many of which often go unspoken. I am from a family that tries to capture every moment from first steps to the first day of high school. This is often an integral aspect because I am from a divided home and pictures allow those who are not able to be present at certain events to have a glimpse inside. These pictures are especially important to me during special occasions when I cannot see both sides of my family. My graduation photos capture the people who are the closest to me, our values, and our relationship with one another.
    I knew it would be difficult to find one picture that would represent my family. I have three pictures because many people have been vital to my life and needed to be included. The first shows my father and grandmother, my younger sisters are shown in the second, and the third is of my mother and stepfather. This was a very special day for me because getting my education and making the most of it has been implanted in me since childhood. Everyone seemed so proud of me and my accomplishments and these pictures will always allow me to cherish that moment.
    While I am not from a picturesque background, my family is a fundamental part of my life. At times, it is difficult for us to come together when I am the cause for the event because there is a bit of discomfort between my mother and stepfather whenever my biological father comes into town. Everyone remains civil; however, it is obvious that there is some tension. Generally, I am the common thread amongst them and I know that they set aside their differences in order to support me and my endeavors. My grandmother is seen standing next to my father because in her eyes he is still a part of the family. Their tolerance of one another is indication that the value of love and family is more important than disagreements.
    Throughout my life, I have been surrounded by positive role models, especially by grandmother. She has taught me how to endure certain hardships of life. I have always viewed her as the pillar of our family, offering advice and giving words of wisdom. Because of her, I believe that I am a better person. When I was younger, I felt as though being the oldest child was a burden and I had to do everything correctly. I did not want the responsibility that came along with such a task. From my grandmother’s wisdom I soon learned that I did not need to be perfect; I just had to be myself. My younger sisters admire what I have accomplished thus far and I hope that I am able to inspire them to reach their goals. The emphasis of encouragement and compassion brings us closer together.
    Belle Hooks is quoted as saying, “Such is the power of the photograph, of the image, that it can give back and take away, that it can bind (80).” My family photos do just that, bring back memories of good times, remove fears and doubts, and draw us closer together. Our smiles on my graduation day are evidence that the love of family surpasses all things. I am thankful that I will forever have these photographs of the people who love and care for me the most. Each time I come across them, I will be reminded of all of our precious memories.

  4. wittywil Says:

    A Celebration of Life
    A headstone in Ireland states, “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” The picture of my family is from the spreading of my grandfather’s ashes on Powers Lake in Wisconsin. Although he was battling Parkinson’s disease, he still smiled and joined in on the activities. His smile and joy has stayed with me even after a year of his death and the greatest lesson I learned from him was to never bring other’s down because of how you feel: think of others before yourself.
    My grandmother gathered her three daughters and her son, my dad, in Wisconsin for a family reunion and also a time to remember. We came together the week after my grandfather died to a have his funeral, but it seemed there was no closure in the family. This is why we went to his favorite lake to provide the closure that my family desperately needed.
    This picture was not one of sorrow; it is one of celebration. We remembered the times that we had with my grandfather and shared stories about his life before his children spread his ashes The headstone stated, “death leaves a heartache no one can heal” which I can attest to because every time I go to my grandmother’s house I think about him and feel that something is missing. People can comfort someone who has lost a loved one, but there is nothing the person can say to bring the person back.
    The second part of the quote finishes with “love leaves a memory no one can steal.” The memories of the deceased are the only thing one has left. No one can take these memories away and they can keep one’s life going. I feel that if his love for us was not as strong that these times would not be a celebration of his death, but mourning.
    Bell Hooks writes in her story, In Our Glory: Photography and Black Life, “It [is] as though he did not want to remember or share that part of himself, that remembering hurt.” The black father never opened up to his family because it seems he is not proud of his life and is almost embarrassed. My grandfather could not have been any different. He shared everything he knew with us and gave us all of his knowledge so he could make our lives easier. The black man’s daughters seem to be full of mourning because they did not know much about their father, but since my granddad shared and loved us that when he passed it was easier for the family to except the loss.
    Even though my family does not take many family pictures together because of our hectic schedule, this picture illustrates how close we are and that we are here for each other when one person is suffering or hurting. My father took the news of the death the hardest because it was his father who passed. When he shared the information with us we were there to console him and give him a shoulder to cry on. This comforted him and showed him that we cared about him and were there for him. Because we do not have many family photos the ones that we do take have more importance in our lives. This photo shows the love that we have for one another and that if one is hurting, the other three are there to pick them up and bring them back to happiness.
    Throughout my life, death has taught me many things; the most influential lesson that it left me with is: without death there would be no point to living. Henry Van Dyke sums it up best when he said, “Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.” My grandfather lived life to the fullest and shared his love with his family every time we saw him. Our family picture shows the love between each other and also the love that we had for my grandfather, Don Kamin.

  5. jingoistic john Says:

    My family photo is a picture of my parents. This photo is a device to remind of my parents. They way my parents are preserved in the photo is how I remember their expressions and emotions. My ability to relate and remember through photo makes the sense of sight one of the most important to me. Sight enables people to make decisions, recollect familiar people places, or things, and is essential to life. However like life sight is a victim of time. Things we hold dear and valuable cannot be easily recalled at will, as we should like. The way people present photos and the expressions held within them have a lot of connection to what the owner of the photo recognizes the photo as.
    Photos have distinct purposes that are different for the people who display them. People use pictures as tools to provoke a reaction. These reactions generally tend to create a sense of association after consistently being viewed. I will use one of my own family photos as evidence. The picture is of my mom and my dad. The setting is a summer day and you can see many trees and a brown fence. My parents are both smiling with arms around each other looking directly at the camera with two large grins. As the photographer I can tell you I tried in no manner to doctor this picture other than the ritualistic “smile.” My parents were happy that day so the captured emotions are stressed but not staged. The emotions I feel from looking at this photo are ones of appreciation for my parents and the joy spending time with them brings me. I associate this picture with the family outings I went on with my parents. The purpose for this photo was simply to remind me of my family. The expressions of my parents could be somewhat reflective of our excitement to go out to dinner. However an outsider might get the positive perception that we have tight family bonds or the negative perception that we must put up a façade of happiness. It is through different gazes and points of view that people reach these interpretations.
    Gazes are something that it’s important in every photos interpretation. For example in Bell Hooks essay she hits on the value of everyday life. The picture shows a man by a pool table with a white under shirt on. The author’s sister G does not like this picture that Bell Hooks so treasures because of its overly casual style. Her sister is probably worried that people will derive unflattering judgments from this photograph. However Bell Hooks values this nonchalant look because this is the way she remembers her father. The roles that are behind the creation of pictures are many times independent of any other points of views. However when a creator does choose to take a photograph that can be shared with public he or she usually tries to appeal to a certain emotional pull. So the emotional pull is not as universal because it is not the same public stage.
    The purpose behind photographs has more influence on their usefulness than anything else. Personally I use some photos to depict traits about myself, show where I have been, and what I have been through. Other photographs that I hold to more for the purpose of comfort and recollections how people who have been important and instrumental in my life. The Photo of my parents I use as a sort of boost when I feel depressed or overwhelmed. The photo reminds me of the times I have been in high spirits as well as reminding me of the comfort my family members provide me.

  6. Captain Cole Says:

    Vince Lombardi, a hall of fame football coach, said about football, “Football is like life, it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, dedication, and respect for authority.” When I look at my picture and think about its deeper meaning all of these things come to mind. I come from a long line of football players, starting with my great-grandfather who played at Wake Forrest as well as my uncle who played at Clemson and then the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles. Then there is my dad who played at Duke and was a two way starter and two year captain. If living up to this legacy was tough enough already my dad is also my coach which made it a little more difficult. However growing up as the son of a coach also allowed me to experience many parts of the game at an early age sometimes getting a little too into the action like when I walked onto the field in the middle of a game when I was two because I wanted to play.
    When you look at this picture and analyze everyone’s stances and gazes it is a little amusing if you know the three of us because our poses greatly resemble our different personalities. My little brother stands on the far left with his arms crossed in a defiant manner that makes him seem as though he has an attitude which coincidently does, and it appears as though he is elbowing my dad which resembles how they are always butting heads and arguing. But at the same time he is wearing number 44, my dad’s former number, which is funny because many people say they are the very same person and look just alike and are both stubborn which is why they argue a lot. My dad stands in the middle of us almost separating us like he used to always do when we would fight or start wrestling when we were younger, he is also slouching a little bit which he does a lot because of all the injuries he has sustained over is football career. He also has a very stern look on his face implying that he means business. I am standing on the far right standing in a very basic pose which emphasizes my laid back personality that my dad sometimes get mad at me for. I also have a very serious look on my face because I take football very seriously, but I also look a little annoyed which is probably because I hate taking pictures.
    My brother has always followed in my footsteps like I have in my dad’s. He always followed me around and played the same positions as me, but because he is three years younger than me I did not think we would ever get a chance to play together. However I repeated a year in high school which allowed us to play together for the first time my junior year, and there was finally someone else for my dad to yell at other than me. Those two years we played together for my dad were pretty cool especially because we were rather successful and I guess other people thought it was special too because they wrote an article about it and put in the newspaper which is what my picture is from.
    When I look at my picture I think about all of the hard work I have put in over the years and all of the time I have spent around the game and it reminds me of a Bell Hooks quote, “The word remember evokes the coming together of severed parts, fragments becoming a whole.” But I also think about how it was to be able to play on the field with my brother while my dad was coaching us from the sideline and being able to celebrate victories together.

  7. supersmartsam Says:

    For as long as I can remember, the beach has been almost a home away from home for my family and me. For fourteen years, some fraction of my family has gone to on a vacation to a beach house for a week during one of the summer months, whether it has been my extended family on my father’s side, or just my direct family. Pictures always play a big part during this week. I look back on previous years’ pictures, and still remember memory after memory from those years. Everyone in my immediate family is pictured on that wooden deck facing the ocean. All six of us have grown up together and have now moved out of the house. Every year the smiles become more genuine, which is how my family is now.
    My family has grown closer and farther apart as the years have passed, as we are all moved out of the house now, yet we have grown to understand each other better. The smiles in this picture are not just for the picture as a lot of staged pictures are these days, but we are all happy to have been able to spend an entire week together. My older sister lives in New York City; my brother has to travel a lot for his new first job, and my other sister goes to school at Virginia Tech, so as you might see, getting us all together at the same time is extremely rare. When we do manage to get together, my parents love to take the opportunity to capture the moment. There are no fake smiles in my family anymore.
    My family’s picture taking process is very much so organized by my mom. This contrasts to a part in Bell Hooks essay, In Our Glory: Photography and Black Life,” My perspective on picture taking was more informed by the way the process was tied to patriarchy in our household.” Rhetorical Visions, p. 63. Even though my mother organizes and takes all of the pictures, both of my parents work in tandem involving the family pictures. My father organizes all of the pictures from birthdays to vacations into year-by-year albums. So even though Bell Hooks tells us how her father, my parents love for pictures gives them something to cherish as my siblings and I move on from the house we grew up in.
    Many families tend to smile differently in a picture, or try and make an expression to show everyone an emotion that they were not truly feeling at that point in time. The picture every year doesn’t have us dressed in similar clothes, or all dressed up, because that doesn’t show whom my true family is. Staged pictures with shirts and ties are not my family. We are all natural in photographs, with cut off t-shirts, muddy jeans, and beat up flip-flops.
    As my family is growing up slowly but surely, we come to appreciate there photos more and more. The reason is probably that we may not see each other for the rest of the year and that we would like to capture that very moment in time where we were all happily together. The family albums still continue to grow at the Roller household, even though my parents are the only ones who live there anymore, but the pictures still play a huge role in family vacations, my life, and for the next generation of Rollers to come.

  8. bIgRoN Says:

    Life is full of memories. It is only natural that my family and I would rather reminisce on good times. My family is one that takes a lot of photographs during important. When I embarked on the assignment to bring a family photo to class, I began to think, what is family? My definition of family is based on people you love and share memories with, and people who impact who you are as a person. My family has played a beneficial part of my 17 years on earth. I decided to bring a photo collage that included four pictures that are very important to me. These pictures exemplify important relationships and events of my life.
    My mother and sister are two of the most important people in my life. They always are there for me right by my side no matter the situation. This photograph shows us momentarily after I graduated from High School. Having an older sister has benefitted me in many respects. She has been an enormous supporter of my academic progress, athletic activities, and, as you can see in the photograph, important moments in my life.
    This picture also represents the importance of education that my mother has instilled in me. From the beginning my mother frequently reminded me of the meaning of education, and what is expected of me. I have accomplished many things in my life, but I will never forget my mother saying my graduation day was the happiest day of her life. Therefore, I decided to choose this picture because it expresses the true value of how much her love and the magnitude of my success means to her.
    My grandparents’ involvement in my life has been very important to me. They have supported me financially, mentally, and spiritually. My grandfather is a well accomplished and spiritual man. With my father being absent, he filled voids that my mother was not able to being a woman. On the other hand, my grandmother has also fulfilled valuable qualities. She taught me to have a strong mind and optimistic everything. Although they taught me different life lessons, they were equally important.
    You may ask while observing my family collage, why my girlfriend is in it? Although we are not related, we share a bond that makes us closer than family. We have been together for about two years. The photograph takes place on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, where we were visiting her father who lives in Manhattan. Our relationship strives on our friendship; we have experienced a lot of “firsts” together. She has honestly made me a better and broader person, and we grow closer every day.
    The fourth and final photo of my family collage includes my two best friends, Dennis Gravely and Tony Womack. Our friendship is ironic since we were all “star athletes” in the area, and we all played at different rival high schools in our district. I am the youngest and a grade behind in our trio; therefore I look up to them. We pride ourselves on respect, loyalty, and the determination to succeed in life. We have a friendship that some people may never obtain, and that is “true friendship.”
    My definition of family may not be similar to the common person, however it describes what is important to me. These are the people who have made my life worthwhile and shape me into who I am, I will be forever grateful for all their contributions. Accomplishing goals in life is much better when you have a great family, such as mine, to share them with.

  9. jugdementaljack Says:

    Family photos are apart of every single household but they are all unique in their own ways. The photos sometimes depict an ideal lifestyle that the family is trying to portray where as others show pictures of usual, everyday life. My family’s ideals are strengthened by our values of respect, pride, and love, which differ from today’s standards. This picture was a very proud moment in my life, and seemingly a proud moment for the rest of my family. It was a photo before my high school graduation mass at C.W. Post University. This photo does not represent my family’s everyday lives because it is a once in a lifetime photo but is a photo that every single person should have and be proud of.
    To understand a photo, one must learn as many details as possible such as the setting and the people in the photo. Going left to right in this picture, the first person in the photo is my Dad who can be described as an exemplary father figure. His position on the left side of the photo is significant because it shows that he is part of the family but always allows others to do as they please. He can be described as an overseer who can help at anytime if he is called upon. The second from the left is my younger sister, Caroline, who is brightly smiling just like always. She seems as the bridge between my two parents because she possesses a combination of their looks. The center of the picture is my mother who is trying to organize everyone in the picture with everyone surrounding her. I am the second from the right and the picture was taken at my graduation mass. In the picture I was so happy because I had completed high school and I was with all of my family members trying to captivate that quintessential graduation picture. Every single day in my high school I had to wear a jacket and tie just like I did in the picture and that represents my transition to a more formal world. Also unlike the rest of my family members, I am not wearing dark colors but rather light colors that symbolize a new step in my life. Lastly the person on the far right of the photo is my brother, Andrew, who is currently attending Chaminade, the school that I graduated from. It appears in the photo that he is on the outside, almost separate from the photo. This is a learning experience for him because this same photo will be taking again in two years when he graduates from Chaminade.
    This photograph is a culmination of my family’s values and of our culture on Long Island, New York. For example, religion is a very important part of our lives because I went to a private catholic school and my family attends church regularly. Another important part of this photo is how close of a family we are, and that is becoming less and less common in today’s society.
    After analyzing some of the principles that my family tries to portray in this photo, it seems that they directly contradict the mainstream standards. After analyzing this photograph I can better appreciate the value of any photograph no matter the setting or the people in the photo.

  10. modestmegan Says:

    My mother is obsessed with family pictures. She drives everyone crazy with her insistence upon obtaining yet another useless picture for the ever growing collection. Before she even pulls out the camera the moaning and groaning begins, and she already has to pepper my brother with empty threats if he does not start to smile. But the pictures are not useless, they are worth the five minutes it takes to get situated perfectly and for the flash to go off, they are precious memories, they are my family’s history. Without the thousands of photos my mother has taken over the years, I would not be able to have a clear view of all the birthdays, Christmas, Easters, Thanksgivings, weddings, baptisms, vacations, and graduations that have taken place well before the time I was born until now. These pictures make my mother happy, and she takes them so our family always has those memories, so we never forget. The pictures I chose from my family album while seemingly parallel are actually quite different. Family to me can be captured in these two photographs alone. The very formal picture of my family represents what my parents try to portray to the outside world, what we try to appear to be, while the other is a relaxed, realistic view of who we all truly are.
    For almost every major event that has taken place at some point in my life, my mother has taken a picture. The first photo is of my family before my graduation party. It is the epitome of the perfect picture – everyone groomed, and polished to a T. It is exactly the type of picture my parents would hang on the walls of home for people to see. We are all matching, all dressed in black and arranged in a particular way; with my father between my brother and I, and my mother standing in front of my father. My father has his arms draped across me and my brother’s shoulders, while my mother’s hands are clasped together and in no way reaching out. This arrangement is extremely similar to the second picture that I chose from my family album. The picture in which we are all dressed sloppily and sitting haphazardly at the kitchen table is proof of who we really are, not what my parents want others to see. My father’s arms are again draped across my brother and I. This is a subtle yet significant theme between both pictures, because it illustrates the relationship that my brother and I have with my father in comparison to my mother. While we both love my mom, my dad is the one we are always trying to please, the one who we ultimately respect the most. My father is also the one we both spend the most time with, which is definitely different than most families.
    Differences are also extremely evident amongst the two photos. One is extremely formal, taken outside, and somewhat rigid, while the other is taken inside our kitchen, dressed very casually, and generates a more natural aura. The familial gazes in the first photo in which we are all dressed in black, is complete with fake smiles and perfect posture. While it is an excellent photo, it is not what are family is. We are almost never all dressed up like that together, nor are we ever all in our back yard together. The second, more relaxed photo, has more character, more authenticity. We are all leaning on one another, and showing the love that we have for each other.
    My family’s photo album has a varying array of photos, but these two truly capture both essences of my family: what we want you to see and what is truly there. It has taken me eighteen years to realize how important all my mother’s crazy pictures affect our family; without them our memories would be left to our imagination. She has captured almost our entire life as a family and one day we will forget the fight we used to put up to get our picture taken and have memories of each other and that’s what is important.

  11. StupendousShawn Says:

    Everyday of my life, I have always been taught to try my hardest and work avidly. At a young age, I was introduced to the game of baseball. My father and I would play in our living room with a turkey baster and a cushioned ball. We played for hours. The theme of baseball is portrayed in the photo. Our family is dressed in Phillies clothes and the picture was taken outside the Phillies stadium.
    My family photo proves that I come from a family that is strongly anchored in sports — most importantly baseball. Ever since I was youthful, baseball has been engrained in my blood. My father used to sit me up, strap a glove on my right hand and throw a ball into it. The bond that my father and I share is also the bond that exists between our entire family. Our picture depicts this tie. We took the picture at the Phillies home stadium, and we were all wearing Phillies attire. The love for baseball is apparent our attire and the photo’s setting.
    Our family’s affinity for baseball is depicted by the theme of our basement. Baseball memorabilia decorates our basement, from trophies to pictures to game balls. Many pictures of my parents decorate the basement, and although they look different, the pictures reveal their affinity for sports. Our family is close-knit, and it can be credited to our love for competition.
    At first glance, we represent the ideals that society has of a family. We are all smiling and touching. We are a family of six happy people who enjoy spending time together; however our family photo does not show how our family functions. Much like author Belle Hooks who talks about the different outlook that her and her siblings had on a photo of their father, my sibling’s have different opinions of our parents (Hooks 80). My parents have shown me love and respect, and I reciprocate their feelings. However, my siblings have different relationship with my parents. My sister, Megan, feels she is under appreciated. She is a high school athlete, but has not achieved the success that I had. My brother is the youngest in the family, and is jealous of the relationship I have with my father. He wants to imitate the friendship my father and I share. Although their relationship is growing, his lack of athletic knowledge has strained their relationship. Photos only let others know what is wanted.
    Photos portray the American fundamentals and ideals of society. Family photos do not show how families function. Kids are told to smile for the camera. However, that is not photography’s purpose. Photos are meant to capture relaity. Marianne Hirsch was quoted to say, “A familial gaze can transform diversity into a specular mirroring and can reshape global issues into domestic concerns” (Hirsch 135). Hirsch says that views of family can change and be shaped by photos, even though they may not portray the real truth.
    The family photo I brought into class portrays a very happy and cohesive family. The photo does not depict the animosity between my siblings and I. It depicts us as equals, which demonstrates a common family quality. The problem with planned photography is that it does not show the true family.
    Many photographs do not capture the true elements of family life. However, the theme of my photograph depicts our family’s common connection. We all love sports. Our family is not together often, and sports are the reason. The common bond we share makes the theme of the photo an accurate description of our family.

  12. Stupendous Shawn Says:

    Many times in our life, we are forced to read things that we have no interest for, and photos are not much different. We quickly glance at the photo with no true purpose, but if we truly analyze what we see, a picture can tell us so many things. My family photo depicts this idea. On the surface, my family looks extremely happy and cohesive unit, but that is not truly the case. Although most of the time my family actually gets along very well, there are many times when we do not. As I have grown older, the art of photography has grown more difficult for my mother, the photographer. She has to try harder and harder every year to get us to get the family pictures. And with her hard work comes even more effort to get us to look happy to take it. But that is the problem with planned photography. Society has taught us to put on a front with a smile, and not express how we truly feel.
    Christmas time in my house is a very special time for my family. With the all six members of my immediate family together with members of my extended family, the fun never ends. One thing that my mother has always been adamant about was the need for a family photo around Christmas time. She loves to capture all of us together, put us on cards, and send them to all of our friends and family. The process of the picture-taking has changed over the last few years though. The children become frustrated with the great number of photos she takes, and the need for perfection. My mother is trying to capture us in the light that allows us to be seen as a happy family by everyone who sees the photo.
    My family has grown farther apart as the years have passed. With my sister graduating from Penn State, and us seeing less and less of her, the connection has faded. Our family used to be very close-knit, but the connection seems to be fading. But there is always one thing my family can count on to keep us a close unit, sports, most especially baseball. Coming from a household of two division one athletes, sports have been all that I have known. Ever since a young age, baseball has been engrained in my blood. My father used to sit me up, strap a glove on my right hand and throw a ball into it. Because of the countless hours my father and I have spent together on the baseball field, we have a better relationship than I could have ever dreamed of. He understands the struggles I have endured and has pushed me to be the best I could in hopes of reaching my goals of being a Division I college baseball player.
    The theme of baseball is prevalent in this year’s Christmas photo. All the children are dressed in red and white Phillies gear, and we are at the Phillies home stadium. My mother thought that, following their World Series victory, it was only appropriate to express our love for baseball by honoring the team that my family has spent countless hours watching.
    Our love for the sport of baseball, most especially the Phillies allowed us to hide our true feeling about family photography. Although I remember loathing the fact that I was forced to ride half an hour to take a picture, once I was at the stadium, I was excited and willing to take the picture. The common bond we share makes the theme of the photo an accurate description of our family.

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