Before Social Media
By John Patota December 13, 2021
Return, even for a moment, to the days when we took photos of things we liked. We captured the people we thought were interesting, the things that made us curious and the events that gave us joy.
We never much cared what people thought of our photography, number of Likes it would receive or how it matched up to others."Comparison the the thief of joy" is a quote often attributed to President Teddy Roosevelt comes to mind.
That was the world of Jacques Henri Lartigue.
Born in France more than 100 years ago, Lartigue was given a camera at age 6 and never stopped taking photos of the things he loved. They show people engaged in everyday life. In each one, I can see the thrill he must have had in the process.
As a young photographer, Jacques would print his own photos and put them in a scrapbook, for no other purpose than the joy if gave him. I suppose creating scrapbooks was not unusual for the time, or any time, but the fact he continued to take photos of the things he loved for all his life is remarkable. He remained an amateur photographer all his life. Today, photo books of his work, published by others, are available everywhere.
Although he did not pioneer the art of Street Photography, looking at his work makes me think he had the most fun doing it.