I’m talking about class photos today. School groups are flocking to the IMA. The exhibition Class Pictures: Photographs by Dawoud Bey just opened, the Nugget Factory just interviewed Dawoud Bey for their iTunes U series, In the Factory. And recently we created a Flickr group called Class Picture Day.
Groups on Flickr are often hard to seed. Like a lot of the digital content, an audience does not flock to a website, just because it is published. It takes a connection with an audience, an innovative or compelling idea, sometimes a bit of luck and great timing or me urging in a blog post. In our Class Picture Day group, a few IMA staffers (Despi, Noelle, Ruth and Sarah) were brave enough to post their own class photos, to initiate the process. I was amazed by their commitment to the cause and willingness to put their brilliant pictures from yesteryear online. I hesitated and used an excuse now echoed by many throughout the halls of the IMA: I can’t find my yearbook. Come on!
I and others continue to harass our colleagues to submit. It does take commitment – you have to find a yearbook or the actual photo, you have to scan the image, you have to login to Flickr and upload (you might even need to create a yahoo username to do this) – so I get the time involved. But, now that even I submitted an image, that excuse is no longer valid. I uploaded a terribly embarrassing image of myself this morning. I guess I am committed to the cause and I think you should be too.
As we all age, our class pictures lose that relevance of the pop culture and time period, so when they are viewed years later, well, they appear funny or outdated or slightly embarrassing. I personally love them. So I’m challenging our readers, find your Class Picture Day images and post them to our group. You’ll become part of an online community that was willing to laugh in the face of potential humiliation and just go for it.
Can you do it?