Yep, we’re talking about your life and every thing in it. Especially the photographs. These are the visual records of your history, and the cultural times you’ve lived in.
Whether there are cues from the clothing, the vehicles, the furniture, the hairstyles.
You may not have realized it, but all of these captured moments and records have been placed into a category of photography and are sought after by collectors. Uh-huh. they are paying money for these found images.
It’s called Vernacular Photography.
Now the folks at Merriam-Webster (no relation) define it dryly like this:
Latin vernaculus native, from verna slave born in the master’s house, native
1 a: using a language or dialect native to a region or country rather than a literary, cultured, or foreign language b: of, relating to, or being a nonstandard language or dialect of a place, region, or country c: of, relating to, or being the normal spoken form of a language
2: applied to a plant or animal in the common native speech as distinguished from the Latin nomenclature of scientific classification
â€” verÂ·nacÂ·uÂ·larÂ·ly adverb
But Wikipedia speaks more to our group with this explanation:
“Vernacular photography refers to the creation of photographs by amateur or unknown photographers who take everyday life and common things as subjects. Though the more commonly known definition of the word vernacular is a quality of being “indigenous” or “native,” the use of the word in relation to art and architecture refers more to the meaning of the following subdefinition (of vernacular architecture) from The Oxford English Dictionary: “concerned with ordinary domestic and functional buildings rather than the essentially monumental.” Examples of vernacular photographs include travel and vacation photos, family snapshots, photos of friends, class portraits, identification photographs, and photobooth images. Vernacular photographs are types of accidental art, in that they often are unintentionally artistic.”
As the summer draws to a close, and you take those photos of family and friends during a last hurrah of the warm breezes, cold drinks, and hot dogs, you may not have realized it, but you are making art.
Is it a signpost for future generations ? A cultural stamp on the calendar? Or just your memories ?
Take a look at some of these sites and see if any of it looks familiar to your life
African American Vernacular Photography – ICP
Luminous Lint-Vernacular Photography: Photobooths .
The point is that this “accidental” art honestly tells us stories that have roots in out deepest memories. The group gathering for the snap before leaving, some child blowing out the candles, the candid innocence of conversations. The moments in all of our lives that we felt the importance of so strongly, that the camera had to come out. Whether posed or caught unawares, these are certain truths in life, visual told and treasured in albums and shoeboxes for years.
There are few people in this world who have never picked up a camera before in their lives.
It is the images that most of them have made, we now call Vernacular photography.
yeah, you’re making art. All the time, we suspect.
We knew you were holding.