The digital age has brought about an era of photography. With smartphones and digital cameras always ready for those special moments that need capturing we have become photographers in our own right, especially when the likes of Instagram encourage us to snap and share our lives so frequently and so effortlessly. Photography has become the ultimate phenomenon of the 21st Century, and we thrive on the thrill we get when we’ve snapped our beautifully composed shots – ones that could potentially attract an abundance of followers, and ‘likes’ that could get us one step closer to being ‘Insta Famous.’
We can’t wait to document our lives. Most of our work stays hidden on our tech gadgets, usually just taking up space, and others make their way to the web, for your adoring follows to admire. But why is it so essential for us to document every step of our lives? Why is it so vital for us to share these memories? We like to preserve the important people and events in our lives, to document birthdays, marriages, holidays to homey beach houses and lavish adventures in the wild, our experiences and life lessons. Whether we take the photographs ourselves or have a professional to take photographs for us, we are obsessed with grabbing and holding on to everything that feels like it may have significant value. Pictures are our personal story: hundreds of images that come together to form the narrative of our lives, a timeline filled with different places, faces, and spaces that we love, that make up small pieces of a jigsaw, that when put together complete the larger picture of ourselves – our lives.
We capture these memories, collecting different parts of our story throughout our lives. But, they are more than just a simple record of our favorite moments that we have documented, they speak to the most visible part of our human nature – our innate desire to share what we find beautiful, interesting and of value. Whether we have our photos printed on canvas and mounted on a wall, whether they’re shared across our social media platforms, published for online albums or made into artistic coasters, mugs or scatter cushions. However, you choose to share your personal take on the world and, however you prefer to display and share them, is up to you. There is no right or wrong way – It is your story and your choice how choose to depict it.
It Makes Us Feel
Moments are fleeting. Time is always slipping away from us, and there are always new and interesting changes happening in and around us. A moment that moves us enough to want it captured, to want to hold onto it… this type of movement is one that you want to preserve so that you can relive it over and over again, eternally preserve our favorite moments. Beauty and art are everywhere, and each moment is a place you’ve never been before. Wanting to hold on to memories is still the same even though we are looking at them on screens.
Tell A story
Telling stories is timeless and integral to human culture. We’ve have been telling stories since the dawn of time: verbally, through scriptures, drawings, and paintings and now through photographs. Photographs have the power of nostalgia, the ability to transport you to different times and places, to relive moments and feelings. They not only let you relive stories told before you but also allow you to create your own. They have the power to conjure feelings and create emotions through their different compositions and moods. You can learn a lot about someone through images, who they are, what they like, how they feel, their ambitions – their desires can all be conveyed through a well-taken image.
See New in The Old
Taking photographs teaches us to actually look at the world around us, to take notice of what is going on, to notice the small and subtle things that we may have missed before. It adds value and insight into a world that may have gone unnoticed to us previously. It perhaps develops skills of seeing, of composition possibilities, lighting and the overall mise-en-scène of our frame.
Help Us to Artistically Express Ourselves
Taking photographs allows us to express ourselves through a form of art, we are different. Thus, we see the world differently, we feel it differently, experience differently and therefore how we choose to capture what we see through photography will be different too. It allows us to use all our senses, the freedom of our experiences, and emotions to create. It gifts us with a language that requires no words, allowing one to create their own visual language through their images, communicating some of the most difficult emotions such as joy, sorrow, sadness, empathy, and wonder.
Has the Power to Move Us
A good photograph grabs our attention and speaks directly to how we feel – to our emotions. They have the power to connect us to people far and wide, even to people who came before us. They help give us a sense of self identity, they preserve magical moments and move us subtlety and without hesitation. They are able to manifest emotions that words cannot surpassing all senses, as they are so much more than something you can touch, see, hear or taste, but something that you can feel.