Artifact Interview Assignment

When Mia and I began searching our personal possessions for artifacts to use we came up with multiple flawed ideas before she opened up her wallet to reveal this photo booth picture strip. The photo strip with three photos stacked vertically pictured two girls with their hair and makeup done, smiling, and making funny faces with props on sticks. The props were sparkly bows, flapper headband with feathers, and fake mustaches. Mia and the other girl both seemed to be having a great time when the photos were taken. The picture strip had been kept safely in her wallet, which made me assume that the person in the photo with her must have been a best friend and that the photo held sentimental value to Mia.

On the the bottom of the photo strip there was writing that said “WEST HIGH SCHOOL PROM 2015”. From that information I made the assumption that Mia had attended West High School, and had graduated in 2015, having attended her senior prom with the other girl featured. The bottom of the photo strip also had two dancing silhouettes, both in 1920’s fashion making me think that the theme of the prom must have been the Roaring 20’s.

As I looked at the picture longer, I wondered what happened during the rest of her night, and I had a few questions: who did she go to prom with; how long did she take to get ready for prom; where was the prom held; did she have fun at prom. These things made me remember my senior prom in 2014, and I couldn’t help but compare her photo booth strip to one that my friends and I had made. Instead of a historically themed prom, our prom was Las Vegas, Nevada themed, filled with fake gambling, shiny dresses, and bright lights.

I asked Mia about the significance of the photos and she shared with me that the photo strip helps her remember a fun night in her life. My assumption that the other girl present in the photo was her best friend was wrong. She expressed that, “I didn’t even know the other girl. I wanted to take a Photo Booth picture, because I hadn’t done one at the other prom I went to, and she just hopped in with me.” The girl ended up being a friend of the girl Mia actually went to the prom with, Jasmine. She then explained that she didn’t even go to West High School and that she had attended Clear Creek Amana High School. “Going to this prom was a last minute idea!” she said.

She had described to me that she had met her friend while working in Old Navy at the Coral Ridge mall. She and Jasmine had been the only high schoolers working there at the time, and this provided them with something to bond over.

I asked Mia to tell me about her experience at prom, and she had started with information on how she had gotten ready and what she wore. She said, “I wore a white one shoulder dress that was different to the white and gold dress that I wore to the other prom. It didn’t take me long to get ready, and I did my own hair and makeup.” I was surprised to hear this because in the photo her hair had been braided into an intricate headband across the front of her head, and both girls looked well made-up. She told me about going to the Marriot Hotel in Coralville, and how it had been very nice and fancy. She said that they food had been really good; “they had a lot of food like strawberries and chocolate.”

Even though Mia doesn’t remember much about the girl who is in the photo with her, it was evident that the photo itself meant a lot to her. It was a reminder of a good night in Mia’s life that she holds dear to her and keeps with her at all times, tucked away safely in her wallet. Pictures can mean a lot of different things to different people. Sometimes pictures are just a way of capturing a brief moment, and other times they are a way of keeping a sacred time in your life alive forever. As for with Mia’s Photo strip, I believe it is the latter.