The other day I decided to tackle a long overdue project of putting together photo books of my family’s annual holidays. We’ve had some fantastic holidays, but I had yet to collate the awesome photos. Not to mention my son’s very colourful birthday parties.
And, what got me going this time round, was that my 9 year old took a look at the photos and said he couldn’t remember half of them. That was a sad moment, but then I had a little think about that. What did I remember from being 6 or 7 years old? Albeit, it was only 3 or so years ago for him, and, well, a lot longer for me, I was panicked to think that he would forget those wonderful memories.
So, with a vengeance, I started putting the photo books together, determined to complete them within the following week, determined I would jog those memories of his.
It led me to thinking a bit more about how photos are so important, and that while it is so much easier to take them nowadays. No, setting up of camera lenses and tripods. No, waiting for the perfect moment. We just grab our cell phones and snap away, able to take ‘bursts’ and even videos.
I may be giving my age away here, but taking a video a few years back, was only privy to those lucky or rich enough to own a video camera. Nowadays, we do it all via our mobile devices, and with quite accurate and clear recordings.
We have instant gratification this way, and can share these wonderful photos with the world via the numerous social media platforms, even change them to suit our mood, with the likes of Snapchat.
But, how many of us are storing these photos to eventually print them? Not many. Which is real sad. We think that if we have let the world know, then we are done with that memory. If we feel we need to print a photo, we head on over to the many professional photographers, position ourselves into various poses, along with our family or friends, and then only decide to print and frame them. Not, that this is a bad thing at.
Photos are and have always been magic. Even today, if we really take a moment to think about it, photos capture segments of our lives and solidify them, making them real. They really happened! We really did that! I really looked like that!
Let us take it a step further. Think about someone from the future, many moons into the future, discovering your photos. What would they think? Would they look at all the colourful prints and say, “This person really lived life to the fullest!” or will they chuck them down and mumble, “Boring!”. So, frame those good memories around Christmas time or during corporate gifting at year end!
What legacy do you want to leave for your future family? What stamp do you want to make that will tell the world one day that you really did live life to the fullest. The thought of not making the most of every single day of your life seems sacrilegious. So, why not let your photos speak for your life. Ensure that every moment you spend doing something or nothing is recorded in the beauty of full colour pictures.
And, take it a step further. Yes, you more than likely take a selfie here and there, whenever you are out and about, but think about sealing in that memory into more than an image on your cell phone or a post in Facebook.
Take time, perhaps once a week to put those memories into little boxes, email them to yourself, and send them off to be printed. You could pop them into a photo album. Horrors! Yes, a photo album. Google it if you don’t know what that is. Or string them on a lovely little rope with even littler pegs across your hallway passage wall. You could make them up into a photo book, professionally binded and have a perfect coffee book talk piece. Frame them. Post them to friends and family. But, ensure that you keep the legacy of your life alive with photos.
There are many reasons I will always take photos, and I am sure that you will agree with many of these.
- As a reminder
We may pride ourselves on being able to remember every detail of our lives, but really, who is able to regurgitate every single detail? Especially as you get older, yes, I said it, older! Our brains become quite blocked up with so much information, that memories tend to become squashed into the little spaces, making it that much harder to draw them out again. A visual is a great way to reach in and pull that memory out.
- Story telling
When you sit, one day, and chat to old friends, new friends, grandkids, or anyone willing to listen, you will want to reminisce about the good old days. Don’t say you won’t! We will all do it! And, if you could whip out a book of photo memories, how much better! A picture really does tell a thousand words.
- Feel the memory
Much like a scent, a picture can help us feel something. Very often, we build up a wall, to bad memories especially, or those we really just don’t want to think about. But, often it is best to bring those feelings to the forefront. They can heal old wounds. A visual can help those feelings to resurface. Good or bad. They are part of you.
- Journalise your life
Not all of us are good at the written word. Many of us are very visual people. So, it makes sense, that if that sounds like you, then you should be journalising your life in pictures. You may want to start up a scrapbook. Remember, like you did in school? Make it a real mish-mash of memories, include photos, scribbles, drawings, and stick in bits and pieces of papers. Or go big and get the pictures blown up onto a frosted window film or door. Anyone picking up that book one day will be able to see just what was going on in your life at that time. The pictures will tell the story. They will journal your life without you having actually said a word.
So, are you ready to create a legacy of your life? Ryan Parker photographers can help.