What will hold when you look back?

Blog , March 14, 2013

I’ve been meaning to write this for a few weeks now.

This is the second time in a couple of weeks that I have gone to write down some thoughts on family or wedding photography and someone has beaten me to it. Maybe my angle will be slightly different.

I’d thought of this in the run up to Mothers Day. But its not just for Mothers day. Its for all those days that families do something together, meet together.

I suppose as a photographer the greatest challenge is getting families to realise the importance of days like this or of having photos taken together. To have something to hold.

On these days family members get together. You may have several generations in one place. And its a great opportunity.


And when these days are long past, when kids have grown up and parents are no longer with you, will you be able to remember those days?

Or will you have a photograph that will make you smile? Bringing back the memories of the time of year, the smells of cooked dinners (usually when people gather together) the people that were there, the stories that were told.


So many of these opportunities are missed. I find myself guilty of it.

Families change so much over the course of a year, nevermind 1 or 2 or 3 years.

Its really important not just to take a photo and do nothing with it. Print it. Make a book out of several of your photos. But have a physical print.

And its important that if you cant do it, to get someone else to.

I get really frustrated when I see a picture taken with a phone at a really special moment in life. So many times I’ve thought about close friends or family pictures, what didnt they just ask me?


I think this means more to me because when my son Jack was born, everything was documented with a film camera. So to see everything I had to print it. That is missing now.

And I think there is something tragic about it.

What happens when you change your phone? Download you camera images to your computer (if you even do that)?

I like going through my prints. There are loads of Jack. And then I found prints a friend (and absolute photography genius) Gordon Ashbridge made when my daughter was born. Beautiful prints taken with a small Leica camera. The quality is just amazing.  Again i love the fact that not only were these photos taken but I have the prints in my hand.

So if you are not going get a photographer ( I would do) to document you and your family every so often then buy yourself a decent camera and mark as many moments as you can.  Dont use your phone unless there is no other option.

Quality is less important. Some of my favourites are poor shots. Blurred. Underexposed. But they have my family in them.

Get as many moments as you can. Moments when the three generations of  family are together. Moments by the beach. Moments eating ice cream on a sunny day. When you daughter goes to her first formal.


Or moments when your son now does his PE for the first time at his BB display and you bring the lens that doesnt work so well in this light?



Or your daughter in her first school play?


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If you cant do it, I will. These moments are important. And even more so when you are older.

What will you hold in your hand,or have on your wall or your shelves when you want to look back?

Empty spaces or lasting memories.



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