So today I’m sitting here with a huge cup of coffee, and 3 page to-do list, and I just got completely overwhelmed with an idea and thought I NEED to write about this.
The importance of a photograph.
So obviously, I’m a photographer so I love photos, I love taking them, I love looking at them, etc. But. These last few years I have been dissecting what the photographs in my life, mean to me.
As you might already know, I love to travel. There is honestly so much in this world to see, experience, love, encounter. When you return home, the photos are the only real evidence that you were there. I mean, I could photoshop myself into scenes from around the world and probably convince myself that I had been there. That’s how powerful a photo is to me.
However, when you have that photograph, you can almost remember the way your lungs felt when you got to the top of the cliff. Or it being so cold, you were clinging to one another to steal some warmth. Or how crisp and fresh the air felt, and the sun upon your face. Photos can freeze time. They allow you to revisit a place- a feeling.
On a more personal note, I’m going to dive into this idea of photos being a feeling. Warning, this is going to get a little sappy…
Right before I got into photography, my grandfather (Papa) got sick. He had kicked cancer’s butt before, but this time it wasn’t looking so good. His birthday was coming up so we decided to get a family photo. I was ‘taking a digital photography class’ and had ‘a $300 camera’ so I set up a tripod and took the group photo. Regardless of how awful my photography skills were at this time, this is the best picture I have ever taken. It’s the best gift I have ever given myself.
Since my Papa has passed, I’ve held onto this photo (and this day) so tightly. I wish so badly that I had taken more photos of him, and truly captured his spirit and heart. I wish we had more photos together (regardless of the acne on my face that caused me to run the other way). He means so much to me, and every photo we do have together is my favorite. It’s a reminder of how safe his hugs felt, the jokes he made, and the joy he brought to my life. So please, take way too many pictures with those you love.
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
— Aaron Siskind
So to me, photos are more than just an image. Tied together, they tell my story, where I’ve been, the things I’ve felt. They are able to take me back to a place, a person, a moment. What a beautiful thing.