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As Doc Brown and Hiro Nakamura will tell you, sending a message to yourself in the the past is a tricky matter.
Fortunately, sending a message to a future you is far less error-prone, and requires neither flux capacitor nor fantastic genetic mutation.
Our friend Raul recently opened an envelope he sent himself 21 years ago, with instructions to add a photobooth self-portrait to the one contained within it. The similarities two decades later are striking.
Inspired by his example, we’ve compiled a short list of ideas for creating your own ongoing photo time capsule — an easy, fun photo project you can do anytime.
p.s. Yo, we’re on Facebook. Climb aboard the new Friends of Photojojo group!
p.p.s. Anyone know of a reliable way (non e-mail) to send a letter or package to yourself years in the future? Please email!
There’s nothing better than finding a $20 in an old pair of jeans — unless it’s finding a photo and a note from yourself, years prior. There’s something about finding a small, unexpected gift to yourself that’s just wonderful.
How to do it
Raul Gutierrez has been squirreling away photos for his future self since he was a kid. (He’s got an envelope from his 15 year-old-self waiting for his 45 year-old-self.)
His process is simple. He’ll snap a pic, slip it an envelope, write a date for when it can be opened, then put it in a filing cabinet by date or in a book he knows he’ll re-read.
Given enough time, he’ll forget what’s inside. When discovered, each envelope becomes photo treasure!
Here’s an example of one he found recently:
When to do it
It’s up to you. We think a note sent to some random date in the future is a pretty fun thing. Who knows what you’ll be doing or where you’ll be in exactly one year, or 999 days from today?
Or follow Raul’s example and focus on inflection points: an arrival, a departure, a graduation, birth, death, new job, girlfriend, house, car, etc. Take a self portrait, a photo of a place you know you’ll be able to find again, or a photo of someone you know will still be in your life years from now.
Either way, take a photo of something or someone or some place you know you’ll be able to find later. Part of the magic in the ongoing time capsule is revisiting a subject after many years to see how it’s changed over time. Or how your future self reinterprets the same subject when taking a photo years later.
Good places to hide things
Whatever project or subject you settle upon, you’ll need a way to make sure you find your photo and instructions in the future. Good places to hide things depend on your subject. Here are some examples:
Photo Credit: Raul Guiterrez
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