Shades of Bayview

Shades of Bayview by Natalie Parker

I spent this weekend thumbing through other people’s memories.

Volunteering with the San Francisco Public Library’s Shades of Bayview project, I spoke with people about their photo collections and helped choose photos to scan and add to the Library’s collection.  The aim of the project is to create a permanent record of the daily lives of people in the city.  Sort of a huge scrapbook, if you will.

Shades of Bayview by Natalie Parker

A photo without a story is just an image.  Talking with someone about  the photo brings it to life.  The project gave us a chance not only to see some remarkable photos, but to understand what made them important.  It reminds me of how we lost Mr. P’s grandmother recently and how there are so many photos we’ll never understand.

They were hoping to get photos of everyday life.  The project leader commented that photos inside homes are rare in the photo archive.  It reminded me of how much more common documenting everyday life is now (with Project Life and such).  There is so much value in capturing “right now.”

This was a fantastic project.  The best photos we found weren’t of vacations, but just life.


2 thoughts on “Shades of Bayview

  1. “A photo without a story is just an image.” TRUTH!!! What a great project for you to work on. And how wonderful that your community recognizes the need for the stories of the community.

    My line has always been, “An album without the stories is just a bunch of photos.”

    My hubby and I have lived in the same county our entire lives. One project I work on is an album about our hometown. Many changes have happened in the 42/45 years we’ve lived here. Even in the 12 years we’ve been married we’ve seen lots of changes. The restaurant we had our first date in is now gone. I was even able to take photos of it in the demolition phase. It’s a fun project to work on 🙂

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