Rebirth of a Photo.

2 Mar





I viewed the Annie Leibovitz exhibition today.  Three words to sum up my experience of her work; intimate, perceptive and involved.

Upon exiting the exhibition, one of Leibotvitz’s statements continued to resonate within my mind. Leibovitz  commented on the way photos take on a new meaning, once a person within it passes away.

I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the truth that was embedded within this statement.

Photos do take on a new meaning in the face of death. Photos are essentially the physical manifestation of the immaterial love, laughter and memories. Once the subject is no longer physically present. We are left with photos.

Once a loved one passes away, a photo that could have been tucked in a dusty album unseen for years, suddenly transforms into a precious object.  However, once the subject is no longer physically present, photos become invaluable.

Transformation. Transcendence.

Within days of my grandmother passing away, I found myself rummaging through my box of photos. My eyes hungrily scanning my photos – all in search of her face.

As I grieved, I spent days de-constructing and re-constructing photos of her. Playing out scenes in my head. Her wrinkles, her smile, her expression. I searched for hours.  Only problem was, I didn’t know what I was searching for.

Only moments before, these photos were a part of a forgotten-bundle in my bottom draw, now they were precious. Irreplaceable. I placed some of them in frames. I placed some of them in an ugly wooden box she had given me for my 12th birthday (no all of a sudden the box was not ugly, but interesting!)

The photo’s above are of both my Nani (my maternal grandmother) and my Aaji (my paternal grandmother). I do not love the photo. It is ultimately a material object; a scene captured & printed on paper.

Instead, I love the genuine emotion of love, which they have captured.


2 Responses to “Rebirth of a Photo.”

  1. Rupal Shikari March 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Hi Nix,

    Very well expressed- I totally agree with you !!!!!

    Therefore it has been said- Make the best of every moment you have with your loved one!!! It will all be a memory one day!!!!

  2. Purnima bhatt March 21, 2011 at 10:20 am #


    That was beautifully written…very touching and very emotional . Keep it up..

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