Sitting here at my desk this morning, I am surrounded by images of the people I love; some are a part of my every day life (my family, my friends, my godchildren) and others (such as my grandparents) are long gone.
But all of them hold a place close to my heart. If our lives are a sum of our relationships, then these images represent the people that make me who I am today.
So it's little surprise to know that when people are asked what they'd rescue if their house was on fire, many say it would be their photographs.
What does this tell us about the role of photography in our lives?
Aside from the fact that I run my own photography business, and can express myself creatively through it, it has an importance for almost everyone I know.
Today I'm going to dive into 3 reasons:
1. Photography conveys emotion without words
Just over a year ago my wonderful, charismatic father lost the ability to speak, read or write.
Just like that.
In the space of 20 minutes he suffered an acute stroke and his life was changed forever. He carries his loss with such grace and dignity, but at times it has been very hard.
I see him a few times a week, and a huge part of our communication is done through the visual vocabulary provided by photography and art. Art has always been his driving passion, and it's provided a vital key to his communication.
Almost every time I see him, we'll go through an art book together, or look at photographs in an album, or on my telephone. Pictures of the places I've been to, and the things I've done, or we'll simply look up something beautiful. Last week we went on a visual journey through the buildings of my favourite mid century architect, Donald Wexler.
We pour through these images together, without the need for conversation. We laugh, and connect in a way that is sometimes otherwise difficult.
So yes, photography can convey emotions without words. For both my father and myself, it's provided a key strategy to learning to live without the ability to speak.
2. Photography tells our story, and allows us to convey what's important to us
Like a piece of music, photography can transport us back to a particular moment in time, in an instant.
It can make us feel connected to whoever is in the photograph, and can move us in a way that sometimes words cannot.
Now I'm not an artist or a writer, but from a young age photography has allowed me to express myself creatively in a way that I probably couldn't have done otherwise. It requires me to slow down, to think, and to really look at everything around me.
It opens my eyes to new possibilities, and allows me to share the narrative of my life, and record the places and people that I love.
3. Photography captures memories, and creates your family legacy for your children
This is probably the most obvious one, but photography captures memories.
It allows us to dive into our past, capture our present, and create a legacy for our future.
I look back at the albums that my parents made for me when I was young; they are irreplaceable.
If you can start to really document the delicious moments of your children's lives as they grow up, imagine the treasures you will be giving them in years to come.
At times, the photographs I take don't seem to be that important. The boys will be making me laugh and I'll whip out my iPhone and take a snap. Or maybe the light is irresistible. Or maybe, for a split second - I spot something that I just can't not record.
Often, I find the importance of these moments is lost at the time, but - and here's the interesting part - as the years go by, their significance grows. Together, these photographs start to have a narrative all of their own.
Nothing can ever equal the value of the memories that you create. They are, quite literally, priceless.
Alrighty, my friends, I hope that's inspired you to pick up your camera this Spring and start capturing some gorgeous pictures! And the good news? I've got a 100% FREE mini photography course made just for YOU, to get you started.
If you love taking pictures of your family, but sometimes struggle with the technical side of photography, or just look at other people's pictures and think "How did they do that?!!" then this course is for you! Maybe you're just super busy and just don't have enough time to figure out the fundamentals, and I've got you covered.
It's delivered via e mail and is a step by step guide to some of the key techniques that I use every single day. You can access the course at any time by clicking right here.