Exploring The Special Meaning of Photography Part 2

March 27, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Recently, I asked the question...

What photo has holds a special meaning for you?

I talked about how as a photographer; it is my job to capture images that can be shared for years to come. What goes hand and hand with capturing images through photography is the ability to capture a feeling and imagination through words. The existent of blogs and the Internet in general proves how words and images work in sync. It’s a perfect partnership.


It just so happens that my mother...a writer, and I...a photographer have developed this perfect union.  My mother, Elaine T Jones recently published her second novel named Aunt Donsy's Trunk. The book is a biography filled with her memories of our family from as far back as she could recall. In preparation of her up-coming book launch event, my mother has given me many photography based assignments.


The first thing I had to do was to capture the image of the old steamer trunk

which was used for the book cover. 


My next assignment was to create the book trailer.



My mother assigned me several other photography projects to help prepare for the Aunt Donsy's Trunk Book Launch… I have another motion trailer in production along with some behind the scenes interviews, stills, and footage…ect.


All of the projects have been really fun to work on. But the one project that I find the most interesting is the collection and assembly of a family slideshow which will be on display during the book launch event… It is a visual of some of the characters in the book as well as a walk back in time through our family history.


Each picture my mother shows me holds a special place in her memory. When she looked at these old photos, it evokes a ray of emotions. Some of the images brought a tear to her eye as she began to tell me who the person was. I realize how important these pictures are to her. They have as much meaning to her as the photo of Roger and Me.


Some of the images stood out to me as well. They are all very special. Without these old pictures, how would we be able to put a face to a name of a person who has left this world, but made an impact and is remembered? The images and accompanying words is the only real window into the past. 


As I scanned the photographs into the computer to create the book launch slideshow, I started noticing a few similarities… Through the pictures, I can see the family resemblances. In the photos below (left) my grandmother Nona Alyose Searcy-Johnson posed in the last picture ever taken of her with her three sisters.


(Photo on the left; Searcy sisters - left to right top: Boyd, Aloyse, bottom: Velna (Donsy), Dura…

Photo on the right; Jones sisters - left to right: Dana, Kia, Becky and Chanda Jones...




I certainly see the family resemblance ­­­­­­when the pictures are next to each other. 


Another family resemblance that stands out to me as I look through these old family photos is of my mother's grandfather William Searcy (pictured below; left) and my son, Justice (pictured on the right). Justice Jones is William Searcy’s Great-Great-grandson. ­Each pict­ure was taken when both were young men at about the same age.                                       


Without the documenting of these photos, and my mother dedicating the last 10 years of her life in creating the novel, ‘Aunt Donsy’s Trunk,’ our family history would have been lost. Our images are not unique... Our story isn't original...We have just taken the time to honor it.


If you have never really thought about the importance of a photo, I hope that this little insight into why photos are so important in my family has made you realize how important it is to capture those special moments in life.


Below are a few more family photos.

   James and Nona JohnsonJames and Nona Johnson   The Johnson Family-1The Johnson Family-1












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