We need photographs.
I think it's safe to say that most people recognize the importance of taking pictures and the value an image holds, especially for future generations as time passes by. Photos give us a window into the past, as a real-life time capsule, almost more precious than our actual memories themselves. We want to remember our present, so we take pictures. We know we'll one day appreciate our past, so we take pictures. And we want to be remembered in our future, so what do we do? We take pictures. A picture is the proof. It really did happen just as the photo reflects it did.
Pictures give comfort, draw emotion, inspire smiles, solve crimes, determine winners, evoke feelings, jog memories, enlighten our senses, tell stories, and create art, allowing people to see the world through someone else's perspective in a way that only a photograph can.
When you went away to college, I bet you took a picture of your family, your pet, and that group shot of you and your best friends from senior week the summer prior. What did Jack surprise Rebecca with after making it out alive from their burning house (besides the dog)? Their family photo albums. What do we most often decorate our refrigerators and walls with and give as gifts during the holidays? What's the one thing we hold onto after we lose someone we love, aside from our precious memories? Pictures. What do you do in the split second you see something you find to be cute, beautiful, artistic, or worth remembering? You pull your phone out to take a picture. And if we didn't get a picture of it, whatever it was, it's almost like we doubt it even happened or existed at all.
Photographs are such an important part of our culture, and will be until the end of time.
I think the understanding that photographs are so important is what gives us the tendency to get so gosh-darn weird in front of the camera! Have you ever wondered why that is? I think it's because we all want to be remembered well. When our picture is being taken in any case, it's almost like our subconscious is telling us that our future grandchildren are already making fun of our style, the way our hair looks, how awkward our stance is, or asking why we're posing like that. Maybe we aren't the most confident and outgoing, or maybe we'd rather be the one taking the photos than giving someone the chance to steal a piece of yourself with the potential of posting or printing it out for (what often feels like) the whole world to see.
But we can't always be in the pictures if we're the ones taking them... so we ask someone else to do it.
You know when you're out to a special dinner or out on the beach and want a group photo, so you ask a complete stranger to take your picture for you? They of course say sure, and you give them your phone or camera, 1- praying they won't run away with your expensive piece of technology, and 2- hoping they don't cut someone's heads off, no one's blinking, and that the photo is half decent enough to post to Instagram later. Waitresses are usually good at it, taking shots with and without flash, including everyone's head fully in the photo, and decently cropped in. But every once in a while you get that random person that just doesn't know anything about composition or ya know, actually including lets and feet or that part of the iconic background you wanted in the pic. But you don't want everyone to have to regroup and take the picture over again, so you graciously say "oh, thanks this is great..." as the stranger walks by, leaving you disappointed with your averagely-captured memory.
It happens to all of us...
But I'm here to encourage you to please not let it happen on your wedding day for goodness sake, and please make sure you're actually included in some family photos this year rather than being the one to shoot everything yourself, never making it into a single frame.
So who do you trust to take your photographs? It's the epitome of trust, if you ask me. I wouldn't ask just anyone to make my photos, that's for sure. There are so many questions I'd ask myself aside from the obvious ones like "do they have experience?" and "are they technically educated and know what they're doing?" I would wonder what their values are, what their home life looks like, what their hobbies and interests are, and what makes them smile. What's their personality like? Are they friendly? Personable? Sensitive to others? Helpful? Honest? Happy? Pleasant? I'd have so many questions...
But what I'd really want to know is whether or not they cherish the same things that I do with a similar perspective. Only then would I feel as though they were capable of seeing my world similar to the way I do and capturing my memories for me in an even more beautiful way than how I remembered them to be in the first place.
And I wouldn't want them messing with my moments either, really. This is my memory to play out, so why would I want someone to tell me what's best? Unless it's during a time where the intention of the photograph is to capture an artistic look or a classic portrait, I just want them to shoot the way they see my life happening before us. The best photos of us are taken when we don't even know the camera is nearby. But let's be honest, not all photographs can be taken completely candidly - sometimes a little direction is in order. We need some sort of direction sometimes. But I'd want my photo taken by someone who has the discernment to know when to instruct or direct me through the series of moments, and when to hold back and let it play out.
Only then can it truly be photographed in the most organic way, wouldn't you agree?
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So are you like me? In search of someone to guide you along as you're photographed (but only when it's necessary...), making you feel confident, look your best, and capturing your moments as genuine and true-to-life as they did in deed happen, all while creating a pretty picture at the same time?
Well then I think we should connect because it sounds like we're on the same page... :)