What Your Favorite Childhood Photo Can Tell You About Your Present Day Self

Me with my mom and dad, circa the early 80s

Take a moment to think about your favorite photo from childhood. Have you got it right smack in the middle of your mind? Great. Now, riddle me this:
What’s meaningful about it?
WHY do you love it?
Formulate an actual answer here. Put it into words in your head.
Go ahead. I’ll wait…

Don’t you feel like you could go on and on about that photo and the significance it holds? Like you want to share the whole backstory, and setting, and tell a little tale about every detail of the picture and why it matters? I know the feeling.

K, here’s what’s fascinating. Often, some of your highest held values as a person, as a woman, as a mom, are reflected in that photo.

Think back to the questions from just moments ago. Do you remember your responses? Keep your answers. But let’s change the question:

What is an important positive attribute that you want to share or pass along to your kiddos?

Your unchanged answer fits pretty well as a response to this latter question…Weird right?

“Well yeah”, you say. “My picture is of us siblings fishing on the lake, and of course I want to take my kids to the lake every Summer too.” Agreed. We want to duplicate the greatest parts of our childhood, and strategically remove the worst parts. But there’s 249 photos of 7-year-old-you at the lake. So why THAT one? It was something about the day, or the way you were looking at each other, or a story behind an outfit, or a toy, or a fishing rod. And years later you’ve internalized that memory as a value. That moment in time is now a part of your life-goals. All incapsulated in one. little. photo.

Being a photographer, I regularly kick these ideas around the ‘ole noodle; What does a photograph mean out there in the ether? But this is a useful exercise under circumstances outside of the joy of pontification.

Your favorite photos carry so much depth beyond the names and ages of the people in them. Refer to them to re-center yourself, to obtain clarity, and to refine goals.

So what’s your favorite photo from childhood? Post a copy of it in the comments – talk to me about. Let’s see what we discover!

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