Photo Credit: Chris Scaglione.
This image was captured on a street corner in Tottenville, Staten Island as my husband helped a victim recover items from his home. His wife’s picture was among these “found” images in the woods.
In the hours before Sandy hit, deep dark clouds filled the skies wide. Heavy, howling winds brushed us all with fear of what was to come. We all prepared as best we could; readying our clothing for the days or weeks ahead, stocking our water and food supply, gathering cash, readying our basements, and easing the fears of our children.
In the midst of crisis, it’s human nature to worry about the items of our future.
When the storm hit, we experienced the strength of nature beyond explanation. Huddled in darkness together amidst the sounds of terror, there is nothing to do but live in the present. For many, it was the most present of moments we’ll ever experience.
We’ve all seen the images of Sandy’s ravage. The news coverage has been unwavering. But the irony is, when we experience tragedy, we immediately turn to the past. We embrace it, we mourn it, and then… we seek to find it again;
We find it in photos.
When people tearfully describe their losses from this storm, it is rarely mentioned in terms of dollars, cars, or jewelry. Not even once. What we hear time and again is the mourned loss of photos, the archives of our memory. What is close to the heart is priceless.
When we create a portrait for our client, we are not creating an image on paper. We are creating a visual for the sake of their memory, they way their life is or how they want it to be. We help them crystallize their life in a moment. Whether that image is passed on through generations or happens to be lost in a storm, it is a picture that stays with them. In their heart.
We’re happy to spite Sandy, to say that not all photos are lost.
In the heart of Tottenville section of Staten Island, a young woman has made it her mission to help people recover these memories as she searched her radius and collected images strewn far and wide. Wedding photos, baby photos, even the photo of her friend who perished in the storm. She inspires us deeply; because even at her young age she understands that photos are eternal treasures. They are not measured in dollar value, but the currency of the soul.
To see this story as featured on WCBS 2 News, click here.
NY and NJ, we’re here for you, too. If you are a victim of the hurricane who has lost your home and your family photos, please give us a call to discuss how we may help.