Sometimes I think we confuse wanting our work to survive and wanting memories of who we are to survive. By way of example I have a couple very nice oil paintings by my great grandmother hanging in my house. They are high quality works by hobbyist standards, probably the equivalent of my own photographic output in that sense. She died when I was ten and I never knew her, so looking at the paintings does not in any way remind me of her. I look at them and think, "My great-grandmother painted those." But that's it. A few generations from now the paintings will be mere relics with no sense of the person behind them at all.

If I am lucky enough to have some of my photos survive 100 years hence, so what? No one in the family who looks at them will have known me or know what I was about. In some ways I would much rather my correspondence or journals survive. That way there is a chance that aspects of who I am will survive into the future, the way my grandfather does for me when I read his letters. In fact, I have many photographs taken by my grandfather, but I would rather read his letters than look at his photos.

Jonathan