Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Passage Through Time

I have always been reluctant to pose for photographs.  That might sound weird from a photographer but, I don't think so.  I have several images of myself when I was young; baby photos, toddler photos, a photo of me on the back of a pony in cowboy gear.   However, I don't have many photos of myself since I received my first very own camera and became a photographer
 BTW-That is me in black
There are two types of photos of me since I became a photographer.  The first type are captured at formal occasions, such as weddings.  The second type are of posed ID images, such as you can find on credit cards, driver licenses and passports.  I have a fair collection of ID photos at this point in time.  Over the years, I have been throwing these expired IDs into boxes and bedroom drawers.

I planned a trip to visit my daughter in Europe this fall.  I needed a new ID photo for my new passport.  Besides a new photo, I had a choice of several documents that could be used to prove US citizenship for the passport application.  One of them was an expired US passport.  I have a US passport from the early '70s that was used in travel to England, Ireland and Portugal.  I found my long ago expired passport with its ID photo in a bedroom drawer and used it to apply for my new passport.

I must say, the contrast between the two images on my passports is dramatic.  The passage of time is chronicled in those two images.  The most immediately noticeable changes are to my hair and weight.

I was about 21 years old in the old photograph.  Now I am 60.  My weight, as illustrated in the old photograph, lasted for but a split second as I passed it climbing to my current historic overweightedness.  As for the hair, my maternal grandfather died at the age of 86 with a full head of hair.  That was what I hoped for myself.  On the other hand, my paternal grandfather had that horseshoe shaped track of hair that exists above one ear and travels around the back of the head to the other ear.  No hair on top from the bushy eyebrows back to the that bump at the top of the spine.  Unfortunately for me, that is what I inherited.  I must say, that at least I don't have the horseshoe hair with a long grey ponytail cascading down my back as do many old motorcyclists or my maternal grandmother.

The style of photograph has also changed.  The photograph exposed in the '70s was creative.  It was not a straight on mug shot as is the one captured this year.  I was allowed to smile, lean forward and tilt my head.  This year I was told not to smile.  Is that because of terrorism?  Don't terrorists smile?  I can hear someone in the Homeland Security office decreeing,  "Terrorists don't smile, nobody smiles."  If I were allowed to smile and project my head out a bit you might not notice my squinty eyes and double chin quite so much.  Ya think?
As for the squinty eyes, I have always had those.  I was constantly compared to Roy Rogers and his eyes.  I did work outdoors for 34 years and I didn't wear sunglasses much, either.  Do you think that has anything to do with the squint?  Or maybe, when Genghis Khan marauded through Eastern Europe some of his seed happened to spill into one of my ancestors.  Either way I have squinty eyes.
I think I will pull together all those ID images I have been saving over the years.  Those ID images may be the only chronicle of my existence.  Besides, once I have them together in one place anyone can find them.  Then my close relatives will be able to use them at my funeral to show my passage through time.

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