Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Power Of A Photograph

The Power Of A Photograph

I was wondering the other day, whilst passing time in Lockdown, whether anyone else had noticed the sudden surge in The Arts? Social media has been flooded by people playing instruments, performing DJ sets from balconies, knitting matching hearts for hospitals, painting rainbows, singing (or screeching) COVID Karaoke, writing and taking photographs. Suddenly these things have become hugely important in our lives, to pass the time, to cheer us up, take care of our mental health and bring people together. 

When I was younger, everyone I knew learnt to play the recorder, we chalked pictures on pavements, we loved hours of art at school mixing powder paints and using charcoal! Kids don’t seem to have as many opportunities within school, maybe targets and funding, it is a shame. I hope this lockdown helps people remember the importance of the Arts!

Yes... this is me!
Obviously being a photographer myself I have always cherished photographs. The ability to return to a moment that lasted a second and relive it for a lifetime. A photograph can evoke an emotion in an instant. The magnitude of the current pandemic has become real when people have seen pictures of the new “Nightingale Hospital” and could appreciate the sheer scale, the photos taken by NHS staff of colleagues exhausted in corridors, in pain from their PPE and the loss of yet another patient, another person, an empty funeral. Photographs have a way of passing the emotion, the feeling in a way that words can not do. We all feel this at the moment.

My son and one of our first builds!
Whilst we are separated from our loved ones, our friends and families, photos have become even more important! I have sent so many photos of my family to parents and grandparents to let them share in the fun we are having. It is helping them stay connected and feel involved whilst they can’t be here for a while. I have inundated inboxes with the pictures of my new found hobby, building stuff! I would not want anyone to miss out on my creations, which includes a new garden bench, a set of (slightly wobbly) football goals and a Fire Pit! I have done these things with my little family and I know in years to come I will be grateful for the pictures and the reminder of happy moments during a very difficult period of life! 

Yep, me again wearing a beautiful sailor ensemble
Over the years I have taken thousands of photos. At weddings, christenings, birthdays, charity events, business launches, workplaces. I’ve taken pictures of pets, grandparents, buildings, happy occasions, clouds (I love clouds!) families, the lists are endless... but recently I saw a photograph of a lovely man, which I took at a wedding. He was not someone I knew personally, but I remembered the moment I took the photo and the little joke we made. He had sadly lost his life. His family used that photo to tell the world what a lovely, funny and caring man he was. That’s what they saw when they looked at that picture. I have photos of loved ones who are no longer here that I can look at and smile. It brings back their laugh, a treasured moment, a random phrase, sometimes a photograph is the closest thing we have to them. In a time of great loss, the last photo you have of someone may be more important than you realise. 

Photos are a great way of remembering fun times, like the time my daughter smothered herself head to toe in Sudocrem, my son with his first football trophy! I can sometimes pass hours looking at old photos and laughing ( usually at my childhood self and my fashionable outfits, cheers mum!) I’m sure other people can relate. 

The Sudocrem incident!
During this strange time that we face, take photos of your days, good and bad. Tell the story so in years to come you can look back and remember what you have lived through! 

My hope at the end of this pandemic is that people don't just suddenly stop creating, in whatever way they are doing it! Keep playing, singing, painting, dancing, writing, knitting, entertaining, capturing and obviously Photographing! Never stop taking pictures! 

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