Appalachian Dialect

Do You Have Your Picture Taken or Made?

My Niece April on Porch

A picture I made of my niece, April, back in 2008

A week or so ago someone left a comment asking me if it was common in my area to hear folks use the phrase make your picture. I responded with a resounding yes!

The other night as we were leaving the Mountain Arts Center after the awards ceremony the words flew right out of my mouth. The girls and I were about to step into a hallway to make our way back to the door where we entered so that we’d be closer to our car. Four or five gentleman were lined up against the wall posing for a photo. Just as I noticed them I held my arm out to stop Chatter and Chitter and said “Wait a minute someone is making their picture.”

Granny used to about drive us crazy with what ever cheap camera she had at the moment. She wanted to make pictures of everything we did. All these years later I’m beyond thankful that she was always sticking a camera in our faces. She continued making photos of the grandkids just like she did us.

As I’ve helped her clean out over the last several months I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the photos she’s made of the girls over the years—many of which I had never seen before.

When I was in elementary school there was a project that filmed 8th graders saying what they hope to be when they grew up. I really didn’t have a clue, but even then I loved what one could capture when making a picture so when it was my turn to stand and share my dream career I said I wanted to be a photographer.

That dream career was totally forgotten once I started high school. Yet for the last 14 years I’ve made so many pictures for the blog that I actually did grow up to be a photographer.

Last night’s video: You Helped Me Win.


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  • Reply
    Angelyn McLain
    April 14, 2022 at 9:18 am

    I have never thought about this before but I think we used them all! When I was growing up and even in the early years of having kids it was a big deal to have a family picture made.
    There rubbermaid boxes of pictures at my Dad’s house.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    I have had my picture made, took, taken, and also have heard make and take. I think it was probably made most of the time. It made no difference what word was used the end result would be the same, I’m so ugly I would break the camera! My mother had lived through a tornado and when the weather would get bad she would grab her pictures and go get in the car. This was when I was a child in the 50’s. She kept her loose pictures in a pillow case that was in a cedar chest.
    She and my grandparents thought if they were in a car they would be able to drive away from a tornado.

  • Reply
    Sara Stewart
    April 13, 2022 at 3:18 pm

    Like another person who replied, everyday photos were “taken”, but more formal ones, including school photos, were made.
    I’m going to remember this when I’m out in nature. “Making a photo” in nature somehow seems to be a friendlies connection with the earth. Thanks for the memories & blessings.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 13, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    The camera “takes” an image of you and freezes it in time. If the photographer chooses to transfer that image to paper then he “makes” a picture of you. Nowdays with digital photography the verbiage has changed in that cameras still take still images but also make videos. But in my mind it remains, the make or take depends on who gets the benefit.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    We have always taken pictures. My father had a “dark room” for developing photos when I was younger. He loved cameras and taking pictures all of his life. The camera and film make the picture, we compose or arrange the picture and then we take the picture. To be a true photographer you have to turn off “auto” and do all the settings manually. A lot to lean.

  • Reply
    Gloria Hayes
    April 13, 2022 at 11:46 am

    I’m 64 and we always had our pictures “made.” It’s so funny how we grew up having different ways of saying stuff but it always meant the same thing. Lots of times when I want pictures made now, I’ll just say, “wait a minute, let me get a picture.” Your niece looks like you and the girls. So pretty!!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2022 at 11:18 am

    I think we had our pictures always made at school, and if we snapped a photo it was taken. I bet you are eternally grateful for Granny snapping photos constantly. These are just plain treasures. I was fortunate enough to have a dear Aunt Bea, and she was different from her siblings. She wore suits, and worked for a doctor, so she had her own money I suppose. She had purchased a Brownie camera, and during her short life she snapped pictures galore. We have family photos with each other, with the family cow, and she snapped those photos constantly. She died at the young age of 26 in 1950, but she left a treasure trove of photos mostly posed as was the way they did back then. I will ever be grateful, as mostly Mom only took photos when we were in our teens. Some are quite humorous, because we had a dear cousin who jumped in every family group and photo whether he belonged or not. So treasured are those old photos!

  • Reply
    Shelia Nelson
    April 13, 2022 at 10:37 am

    When I was growing up in the 1960s we always said ‘made’ or ‘make’. Every time the family would get together at my grandparent’s house we’d have our family “pitcher made”, especially if it was Mother’s Day (when (Mamaw’s pink dogwood was in bloom) or Resurrection Day (the children holding Easter baskets). Then we’d split into groups–each individual family, the siblings, grandparents with their grandchildren–everyone would have their “pitcher made”. We would also have picture making day at school where everyone would dress their nicest, and the girls would fix up their hair with a ribbon or bow. Nowadays we say ‘picture taken’ Since this Sunday is Resurrection Day and we’ll all be over at my Sweet Little Mama’s for dinner, I’m going to announce “Don’t nobody leave until we make pitchers!”

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      April 13, 2022 at 2:16 pm

      Did the photographer at your school offer you the choice of a comb or a rain bonnet? I always chose the comb. The only combs I used up until I was grown were school combs. Then my hair fell out. Now I don’t own a comb.

  • Reply
    Marilyn Walker
    April 13, 2022 at 10:27 am

    I put the phrase “I took out my phone to make a picture” in a song where the narrator has a folksy voice. I did it just naturally – so it was in there somewhere from my childhood! I haven’t lived in the South for over 40 years, but I guess you can take the girl outta the south, just not the south outta the girl. Those roots are deep. I have just discovered this wonderful blog and look forward to it every day!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2022 at 10:01 am

    I too have heard making a picture many years ago but I don’t think I have used the word as I say I will take a picture. I can see Pap’s resemblance in your niece, April. Beautiful.
    Also, I viewed the Girls update and it looks like Katie may be going out west. I’m sure she will be making a lot of pictures. My dear husband took me all over the west so I know she is going to really enjoy all the beautiful scenic places. Just remember at some of the most breathtaking beautiful sights, stand and take it all in and make it a mental snapshot that when you get home you can recall it in your mind.

  • Reply
    Kim Glenn
    April 13, 2022 at 9:59 am

    April looks like you and your girls!

    • Reply
      April 13, 2022 at 2:07 pm

      I agree, Kim. I was trying to figure out which of the twins that is.

  • Reply
    donna sue
    April 13, 2022 at 9:35 am

    When you think about the how much of a process it was to capture something on film when cameras first came out, you can see where the term “making a picture” came from. I have always said “taking a picture”, but have heard the word “making” also. I liked the story of your mom always taking pictures of you guys. Mothers and their cameras! Cell phones sure make it easy to take videos and pictures these days! I almost forgot about camcorders until a few seconds ago. How did mothers survive without cell phones back in the day? What was a trip to the park like? Can you imagine having to carry a camera case, camcorder case, diaper bag, picnic basket, your purse, and a stroller, plus the baby and any toddlers —- all at once?!!

    Donna. : )

  • Reply
    April 13, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Yep, have heard and used both but think I mostly now hear take.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2022 at 9:08 am

    The teachers gave us plenty of notice when it was time to get our school pictures made. They wanted us to look our best as they knew that most families didn’t own a camera and the ones they made at school could be the only childhood image of some of the kids. Nowadays, I take digital pictures and save them to my phone or computer. It’s just not the same.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    April 13, 2022 at 9:02 am

    When I was in high school there was always a day set aside for everyone to have their picture taken for the school’s annual. It was universally known as “picture making day,” and it’s amazing, all these decades later, how often I go back to those annuals and enjoy the results of all that picture making.

    I’d be curious to hear whether other readers share my nostalgic bent and frequently look back with longing at their school annuals. In particular, I wonder whether it’s a generational thing or if folks a lot younger than me (I finished high school in 1960) even had annuals.

    My guess would be, and it’s a somewhat educated one inasmuch as I know the results of some demographic studies on readership from publications I’m involved with, that your readers average age is appreciably above 50 and that only a very small percentage is under 40. I’d like to be wrong but suspect I’m not. On the other hand, your videos likely draw an appreciably younger demographic.

    Finally, since I’ve taken off on multiple rabbit trails, I wonder if you’ve thought about these things in your subject planning.

    • Reply
      April 13, 2022 at 2:06 pm

      Jim, you and I – and my wife – must be about the same age because we, too, finished high school in 1960. I like the fact that you refer to your ‘school annual’ because that is the way they were called by us in Raleigh as well. I think the term has changed to ‘yearbook’ as my daughter didn’t know what an annual was when I asked about hers. I don’t know if the name change is generational or geographic as we now live in central Texas.

      I think we mostly used ‘take’ to describe committing the act of photography though I’ve used ‘made’ to describe having it done as opposed to doing it. In any event, we agree that Tipper is good at it.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 13, 2022 at 8:47 am

    I had never thought of it one way or the other. Guess to be sure I’d have to be caught in the moment like you were and see what I said. But I’m pretty sure I’ve always heard and said “take a picture”. (Hope AW posts today so I can see if he says the same.) I sorta think of ‘making’ as composing the scene while ‘taking’ is just
    as- is/where-is? I do a lot more taking than making.

    As for you being a photographer, you have a good eye for color, light, shadow and subject and how to frame them in a scene. I still remember a picture I assume you took of jelly jars in the window with the light shining through them. And you have posted several of the light and clouds over the mountains along – I’m guessing – the Wilson Holler Road. Then there is Pap in the cornfield and the time he was talking to a friend standing in the yard. You could easily illustrate your own book with your own pictures. If it were all just pictures, I think a person could come away thinking, ” That’s Appalachia.”

    My pictures reveal me to not be a ‘people person’. They are almost exclusively scenes from nature; landscapes, closeups of flowers, unusual natural features, etc. In their aggregate over what is now decades that has been true and show me up as a wanna-be forest ecologist. What a person takes pictures of will do that – reveal who they are . My wife takes pictures almost exclusively of people and scenes from events.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2022 at 7:57 am

    Well now, God used your wish to do photography in a format that didn’t exist when you made that wish. God knows what He’s doing!
    Our family said it both ways: make and take. Everyone knew what was meant. Back then I don’t think we met very many grammar police because people were more interested in conversation than policing everyone. Don’t get me wrong: we had one or two “manners” police but they kept people from stepping on each other’s feelings.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    April 13, 2022 at 7:40 am

    You are a lady of vast and various talent! Your niece April is a very pretty young lady who looks like the Wilsons. Lol I TAKE pictures, but if I took the girls to Sears, JCPenney picture centers or a photographer, I was having their pictures MADE by an outsider. That’s my strange logic anyway. I enjoy your pretty pictures and videos. I don’t know why you can’t double up and share on Their tube and blog too. I just won’t do the Their Tube thing. Free speaking agents are NOT welcome there- neither politically or enlightening. Gave you seen the beast running the show? It’s scary teeth ugly and a double bagger.

    • Reply
      April 13, 2022 at 9:40 am

      Margie-thank you!! If I didn’t do Youtube I wouldn’t have the revenue to continue my work. There are some things I don’t like about the platform, however there are a lot of great folks using it to get out a lot of needful information. The last few years I’ve struggled with being part of the the online world, but I finally realized I could continue trying to present my positive outlook to the world in a helpful manner or just totally quit and never go back online. And I strongly felt God instructing me to stay the course with what I am doing. There really is no middle ground for folks like me who make a living from creating content. Google runs the internet. You can hate that or love it, but either way it is a fact that cannot be denied. I do hope to start uploading my videos to Rumble to give folks another alternative, but that can’t happen with the poor internet I currently have. And uploading videos to this blog isn’t an option either, the hosting I would have to purchase for storing and sharing large video files would cost more than my house.

      • Reply
        Ed Ammons
        April 13, 2022 at 2:36 pm

        I look at your videos as “the light that shines in darkness”. A lighthouse if you will. The internet can be an ugly place but it represents the world in which we live. Yours is a respite from the wickedness that surrounds us. God wants our light to shine in darkness not among other lights. God wants us to go out into the wilderness to spread his love and his plan of salvation. I think that’s what you are doing whether or not it is your intentions. God works through people! Our prayers should always be that God work through us!

  • Reply
    Martha Justice
    April 13, 2022 at 7:38 am

    I truly hope you keep your vlogs and blogs going . I enjoy them so much, they get my day started on a happy note. Nothing depressing about your work ❤

  • Reply
    Glenda G. Page
    April 13, 2022 at 7:31 am

    I have not heard that phrase in years and it is so nice hearing you bring it back…Knew you would win…God Bless you and your family.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 13, 2022 at 6:11 am

    I have heard making a picture, but I always take one. Made seems so familiar though like someone close said that often.

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