My wife gave birth to our first son, Moses, just over a year ago. Like all parents, we love him dearly, and have about a million photos of him on each of our cellphones. Moses wasn’t the best of sleepers, so the first 8 months were a bit of a haze for us, so it’s when we flick through the photographs of him that we truly see who he was during this time. Often to cries of “I don’t remember him being that small/cute/chubby/hairy/long.”
A photograph is proof. That something happened, someone existed, and that we felt it was important to have something to remember it by.
We live in a “throw away” society, where consumerism is king. Where everything is easily replaceable, and holds little value. Where the vast majority of the photographs we take live on a hard drive, cloud account, SD card, or cellphone. History, in my opinion, is being deleted by the terabyte.
It makes me terribly sad to think that most Millennials or post-Millennials haven’t, and won’t ever, hold a photograph and that the only time we truly look at a photograph seems to be when it’s contents are no longer with us, when the memory is all we have left of them.
Photographs of myself and my wife have taken on a new significance since we’ve become parents. I recently asked myself the question, what does Moses, and our future children, have to remember us by ? Other than our wedding photos, there’s very little so say who we were, and what we loved doing. It’s clear we need to invest in creating future memories for our family, and in a format that can be passed on from generation to generation. A printed photograph rewards you with the same feelings as you get when you’re holding a printed book, our enjoyment is heightened by the involvement of senses seldom aroused when viewing a jpeg or an e-Book.
My wife has always loved printing photographs, we have lots of them adorning our walls, and she takes great pleasure in creating photo albums for the rest of our family to enjoy. The goal is now to create one that features not just Moses, but also Mum and Dad.
As a photographer, my love for the image goes deeper than most and I hope that this is reflected in my work. As you invest in me, I do the same in you, it takes time to get to know you or your children, which is why you’ll never see me advertise a “30 minute mini-shoot”, I want to spend time building a relationship so as to capture the real you. I want to give you something special that you will cherish forever and not just store in digital format. Images that you will print and pass on for generations, and that move you to remember the beauty of the moment passed.
Years ago, when asked what would be the first item a person would take with them if their house was on fire, the answer would always be the photo album. I think this confirms the importance of the photograph.