It was more than a little embarrassing and completely overwhelming. What had started as an enjoyable, nostalgic trip down memory lane ended with emotions tinged with sadness flaring as I was struck with memories and wishes of relationships never to be. The catalyst for this decidedly non-masculine display of emotion? Photos. Family snapshots of grandparents that passed far too early for my liking having left fond memories of days spent in the lake, Christmases in the cabin, and practical jokes that Grandpa liked to play on my cousin and me. I could say that it was in those moments that I realized the power of photography, but it wasn’t. That realization came only as I’ve spent time trying to determine exactly why photography is so important to me. The answer is surprisingly complex and will vary from person to person based on a variety of factors that I can’t even begin to list.
For me, photography captures moments and locks “freshness” into memories, events, and times periods of life. Whether it is a senior photo that captures the essence and personality of a young adult preparing to launch themselves into the world, or the overwhelming innocence of a candidly captured toddler as they play with mom or dad, the purpose is the same, to save that time for all time. Years from now, you may pull out an album or box of photos and reminisce about how small your child used to be or how much fun you had during high school.
No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, years from now you will relish the photos you have. Your family and generations to come will cherish the memories photos allow you to share and your only regret will be that you don’t have more. So don’t hesitate! Break out that camera or phone and snap away! Don’t just keep your photos on “the cloud” or on a hard drive somewhere, get them printed. Don’t hesitate to invest in a photo session with a photographer and recognize the value in filling your home and heirloom boxes with printed reminders of those memories. You might regret spending that much money on a house or a car, but you won’t look back at those memories years from now and wish you hadn’t made the investment. What do you love about photos? Which photos do you choose to print and save?