Photographic Memory



When we document our memories, we often look to photographs to remind us of the details we want to share. Usually, there is an obvious scene or story in a photograph like the one pictured here. This was my (Katie’s)  16th birthday and I was trying to stop my almost 4 year old brother from blowing out my candles. That is the memory I journaled about when I digi scrapped this page and I will always cherish that thought. Just because that photo has been scrapped and I told that story doesn’t mean that this picture can’t give me any more information. Most photos have more than 1 story to tell and can bring up many forgotten experiences. I like to call this “photographic memory” because the photo itself can jog your memory.

If I take another look at  this picture, I discover a few interesting memory joggers; my brother’s sweatshirt, my bow tie scarf, the cake, the brick bench,  the wood paneling, and the wallpaper.

  • The Mickey Mouse sweatshirt was from a vacation my family took to Disneyland the previous summer. It’s notable to remember that since I only went to Disneyland twice with my brother. It also reminds me that I had a matching Mickey sweatshirt that I later had to give away. I had a major leg surgery later that year and after that, the sweatshirt suddenly smelled like anesthesia to me, even though I had not taken it to the hospital with me. I couldn’t stand it after that experience and gave it away. I’m not sure if I have a picture of my own sweatshirt, so this was a great reminder of this memory for me.\
  • How about that jazzy bow-tie scarf? That was definitely an early eighties trend and I felt very fashionable in my gray sweater, pink oxford button down, and print scarf. Preppy handbook anyone?
  • The cake is a poppyseed Bundt cake with powdered sugar on top. It was always my very favorite cake that my Mom made. It’s a very simple recipe that uses a cake mix, so I’m sure she was pretty happy that I chose that for my special birthday cake. This recipe is similar to this one, but my Mom would coat the pan with shortening and cinnamon-sugar and then add the mix. So yummy! I haven’t thought about that cake in years, but looking at this picture makes me want to dig out my Bundt pan and make one!
  • The brick bench came with our house and we kept it around for at least a decade before my parents tackled a major remodeling and add-on project. I think it opened up for storage, but I don’t remember that we kept anything in there? It was kind of unfinished inside the bench. I do remember that my Mom always had cute cushions and pillows on that bench. I don’t remember ever sitting on it though. Interesting to remember that.
  • Our house was also filled with that dark wood paneling. My mom painted over it in some of the rooms, but I think she kept it the original color in this room for as long as it was on the walls? Not sure – makes me realize that it would be worth discussing the timeline of the house renovations.
  • About the wallpaper, every wall in our house had it. My mom was really into wallpaper and I still tease her about some of the wild patterns we had on our walls. The backdrops of my childhood memories definitely were well decorated!

Can you believe all of that came from the background details of this ONE photo? I know you will find that many pictures are holding many memories just waiting to be rediscovered. I encourage you to look through your photos with a new appreciation for what might not be obvious at first glance. Using your own photographic memory will help you tell the meaningful stories of your life.

katie big