You know the question about what you would grab if you could if your house went on fire? What do you normally answer? I think that one of the things that I have always held dear is my collection of photographs. I started taking photos when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I remember clearly getting my first camera. It was a 100mm film camera, and mum and dad bought it for me. My love of photography was born. I loved how you could capture a scene, a moment, a look, a personality with a click of a button at just the right time. I remember taking photos, and then towards the end of the roll of film, I couldn’t wait to finish it off – I would take photos of anything just to get it to the developers as quickly as possible. I remember waiting eagerly for the post, or for the couple of days to be up so I could open the envelope containing my precious pictures!
More often than not, most of them would be pretty useless, but I have kept a lot of them anyway as the memory of the excitement and the moment is more precious than the often inadequate portrayal of it. Some of these snaps I am glad to have kept – Ieven have the first photo that I ever took on my own camera!
A good few years back when I was in a particularly low patch, my dear dad bought me my first SLR camera. A whole new world opened, and I began to take my hobby a bit more seriously. The magic of capturing just the right light, just the right expression, or just the right view continued to hold an excitement hard to explain. Its special to feel that you can capture something, a moment that freezes time with just a quick movement of your finger at just the right second.
The special moments are endless, from the momentous to the mundane – I love capturing the expression on a child’s face that will be treasured for years to come, the look passing between a couple on their wedding day, the most beautiful sunset you have ever seen, the exquisite beauty of a small flower.
With the advent of digital photography, it lost the same anticipation of having to be patient and wait for results, but it gained in so many more ways. I still have the same thrill after having taken a series of shot when I put the memory card into my computer and see image upon image pop up on screen! I love that I can experiment in a way that I never have been able to before. I have been able to learn to a much deeper degree how all the elements of a photo fit together, and how I can create a more beautiful picture.
However much I learn, the more I realise that photography is a complicated art form, and there are so many masters out there. Sometimes I look at other people’s photos and just stand in awe! I look forward to having the time and skill to be able to develop this art within myself even more.
The reason I started to write this post was that I was looking through all my photo albums this evening. My grandmother is very sick, and probably doesn’t have much longer to live in this system of things. I wanted relive some memories, and scan in some of the photos that I have taken of her over the years. This really brought home to me how precious photos are. Each of my photos of her recall some memory, some sound, some smell that bring her so close that I feel I can reach out and just give her a hug! I realised how much I love my photo albums, and what they give me.
Looking through the photos, there are friends and family that have come and gone, tragedies and joys that have befallen them – but all of them bring back precious memories of things I may otherwise have forgotten.
I am resolving to take more photos – capture more memories, because you never know how much you might treasure them in the future. I urge you to do the same! Record happy memories of those you love to bring them alive again before your eyes, beacuse you never know how precious these will become.