A fellow photographer recently shared a letter from one of her clients. The letter started talking about the price of photographs, and how it had put her off having them taken. But as we read on, we found out that this client had been diagnosed with cancer with just weeks to live and was filled with regret. She said how sad it was making her to think that she was leaving her husband and kids without a pile of amazing family photos. How her kids will only have few photos of their mum to remember her by. For her, the photographs were a way of leaving something behind for your loved ones that had only become so important when she had become ill.
But is the photograph really that powerful? For me it is. And not only because I’m a photographer – I have thousands of photos printed and framed on my walls at home. They remind me about all that happened and made me who I am now. When I come back from holidays there are always a few pictures that get printed and go on the wall. When people come to my house they straight away get an idea about me and my family, they see the places we visited, they see the photos of my daughter, they can see my and my husband’s home towns back in our separate home countries.
Years ago we went with my husband to Barcelona where my bag was stolen). What was gone was my brand new bag, my film camera (yes, back in 2005 I was a proud owner of a film Samsung;)), wallet with all my cards, money and…pocket size photos of my parents from the times they were teenagers, photo of baby-me with mum & dad and a photo of me and my best friend. Since then I have bought myself tons of new bags (my second hobby after photography), my camera is now a digital Nikon and I have new bank cards. But I will never be able to get those precious photos back.
So for me, photographs are more than just a piece of paper, more than just an image on the camera’s memory card. When it comes to my clients they are very excited while booking the session. But the next time I see them on location they are often stressed, shy and they seem to have an expression on their faces saying: “Uhm, overall I don’t think it was a good idea cause I’m not photogenic and my child is all over the place, etc, etc”.
But let me tell you, the excitement from the beginning is back the moment we meet up for photo viewing, that special moment they see the photo of their newborn, or of themselves being all glowing and happy. They start to understand what is important about photos, the smiles and love, not how much they weigh and if their makeup was all in place. Tears come to their eyes.
So once you finish reading this article, can I please ask you to switch your computers off and grab your camera, go and snap some cute photos of your kids (if you need some tips head over
here) Go and book that family photo session that you always dreamt of at your local photographer.
And the next time people are taking photos near you, don’t hide behind the camera saying you will just take a picture, don’t hide behind the sofa (seriously, I’ve seen this happening once). I have a quote on my site which is very close to my heart: “A photograph is a pause button of life”
Oh, and before you switch your computer off, share your views on this topic in the comments below. Have you got a story showing the importance of photographs? Have you got a way of presenting your photos? Blog? Website? Frames in your house?
Do you need inspiration to snap more photos? Then join me and Camel’s Hump in our Facebook photo fun Shoot That. Each month we will ask for photos on a selected theme, and the best will be showcased on the Facebook pages and here on Camel’s Hump. This month the theme is “green”. Come over to our facebook pages and join in today…