It is easy to take a photograph of a face holding still and staring at you. Not much of a story in that one. My favorite photographs are storytelling photographs. Like this one. A mother reading the newspaper with her children. Talking about things. Explaining things. Pointing out the pictures and their significance. Fewer and fewer people take the newspaper these days. I suppose that a mother could sit down in front of the computer and hold her children on her lap and do the same thing. She could, but it wouldn’t be the same. There is something about rustling the paper and turning the pages. Something authentic.
I sneaked up on this storytelling photograph from pretty far away with the flash turned off. When they were finished reading I asked them if they wanted to know how newspapers used to get to people’s porches. Did they want to know about “newspaper boys” ? Yes. They did.
The moment was extended and the children listened quietly. They asked a question or two. One said he wanted to be a newspaper boy when he got big enough to hold the canvas bag over his shoulders.
Our newspaper boy is a man and delivers his papers driving a car. I didn’t mention that. Of course they had never seen a boy on a street corner calling “extra- extra read all about it”. Except in the movies.