The invention of digital cameras and their popularity has forever changed the way in which people record the events of their lives. The ability to capture a moment of time and preserve it forever is something which appeals to many people. The photos we have, whether physical and digital, are a way of sharing the stories of our lives and I think that’s why we take them.
Most of the photos I take are of landscapes. I think that is because I take photos to remind myself of what I have done. To remember the scenes which made me smile, think or laugh so that months or years later I can look back and say “remember when . . .” I also take photos of landscapes because I notice the beauty in the world and I want to remember that it exists, that the world is bigger and more beautiful than what I’d normally see each day (not that what I see is not beautiful, it is in a different way, not in the ‘awestruck at the sight of it’ way).
But if you were to flick through the photo albums of my childhood, you would find something different. They are filled with photos of people and all the places they had been. A record of the activities that filled my days. They weren’t taken by me, they were taken by other people, people who wanted to be reminded in the future of how I was when I was little and all the things which I had done.
Photos I think exist with the express purpose of telling the stories of life. They do this in many ways whether it is preserving the way we looked, recording a moment of beauty or just something which caught our eye. Whether you’re a prizewinning photographer or just take photos for fun, the photos you take are a story of your life.
This is the sixth in series of posts exploring how humans leave things behind which can tell a little bit of who they are. If you enjoyed this one, why not check out some of the others.
Stories of Life, Part 1 – Objects
Stories of Life, Part 2 – Words
Stories of Life, Part 3 – Trees
Stories of Life, Part 4 – Marks
Stories of Life, Part 5 – People