At the weekend, a lady whose party I photographed talked to me about the importance of pictures and how she felt that a real documentation of her evening would provide them with many happy memories for years to come. This got me thinking about the importance of photographs and what they bring to us.
I used to love nothing more than going to my grandparents and they would drag the box of photograph albums from under the stairs and we would huddle round to look at them together, laughing at the clothing and decor, asking who certain people were and being amused at how they looked when they were younger. It would bring us all together and for my grandparents bring up all sorts of memories, talking about certain people and certain activities they used to do. For myself too, it brought back memories of Sunday afternoon drives with them, school summer holidays there, how their garden used to be, combing my grandads hair for a penny a minute, strawberry picking and the sewing room.
I too have a box of photograph albums under my stairs that are full of the first 10 years of my daughters life and then sadly they just stop. Not only does my daughter like to look through them but also her daughter, laughing at her mum, remembering our solo holidays and adventures and our first little house in King’s Lynn. We then moved on to digital and I now have folders upon folders on my hard drive – but for some reason sitting round a laptop screen doesn’t hold the same joy that sitting round an album does.
I am lucky enough to photograph a few families now each year once a year and they either make themselves a little book of the shoot (I provide digital files on a USB) or I make one up for them. As the years have progressed, I have asked them if they look back at their books and every single family always say yes. They’ve reflected that at the time, they might not have liked the ‘forced smile’ their daughter gave but now they find it sweet and endearing when looking back. Another mum said the children love to look at when they were younger and often go through the books. I love this and it is the very reason I love to take photographs of families. Its not always about the posed perfect moments, but sometimes the little moments in-between, where the baby cries at getting dressed on the morning of a wedding, the hugs with grandparents, sulking on the sofa, being camera shy, the gap where they have lost a tooth, teenagers hanging out together, the veil getting caught at our feet, dad holding your hand. What all of these things do – is evoke a memory, a story and something to share with your future generations.
In tomorrow and next weeks newsletter, I am offering an exclusive discount code for family lifestyle books, which will only be available for those on my newsletter list. If you would like your shoot made up in to a little book, be sure to sign up at the end of this blog post.
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