Photography first captured my attention when I was a young girl, and my parents got me a small film camera. The photographs I took with that camera were not any that would interest many – pictures of our cats, dancing around with my childhood family friends at New Year, and random shots of my Barbies. What it did do, though, was spark a lifelong love of photography. Over 20 years later, the spark has not gone away.
It is a way to record life, and I love to see how others record life too. It is all so interesting to me, we all see things in a certain way, and I find that special. I wrote, in a post on my old photography blog:
I believe everyone has a story to tell. I also believe that anyone can take a good photograph. It is all about your own, unique perspective. It’s about trusting yourself, and trusting that the way you see the world around you is worth recording. The way you see things is beautiful.
Don’t be afraid to get down on your knees to capture a shot. Don’t be afraid of looking stupid. Don’t be afraid of being a cliche. Just take the damn photograph.
Shoot from the heart.
Photographs allow us to revisit different points of our lives, giving visuals to our memories. They capture a moment in time, perpetually frozen; even if we change, even if the people around us change, we can go back and remember how we were.
I take photographs to remember. Years from now, I will be able to look back through photographs and remember how I was feeling at different points in my life. I will see who was travelling through life with me. I will wish I could still hug some people, but it will remind me to hug the people with me now.
Oh, to hug right now.
When I wrote the post in 2016, I was trying to express the reasons why I love photography, and why I love to see others love it too. It is a form that is accessible, most of us have cameras built into our phones now, making it easy to shoot, easy to record the details of your life.
The reason I take photographs is because something deep inside of me wants to capture all of it. There is immense visual beauty in this world, and a burning fire keeps me shooting. On the days where I haven’t taken a photograph, I feel sad that I let moments go by. I will never be able to visually return to those days.
The variety of subjects we can shoot are endless. Different things are beautiful to each one of us, and that is another beautiful thing in itself. The possibility could go on forever.
Some people like to take photographs of their pets. Some people like to take photographs of what they ate that day. Some people like to take only black and white photographs. Some people like to take selfies. Some people like to shoot landscapes and cityscapes. Some people like to document daily moments. Some people like to photograph the people around them. There is so much possibility when it comes to choosing what to take a photograph of. Just go with your heart, go with what you’re drawn to.
What is it that you find yourself drawn to? What is it that you record?
The things I am most drawn to are probably people and nature. The little details of daily life, at home, are also recorded often. Cups of tea, bouquets of flowers, the light when it pours in through the windows, shadows, and my plants. I have tried, over the past year, to take more photographs of the people I love. I have more photographs of my Mum, now, and I know I will treasure them one day. This past year has contained moments of extremes when it comes to the heart, a gentle rollercoaster it was not.
During the first lockdown I also tried to take a few self-portraits, to document this strange time in our collective human history. What, in the years to come, do you want to remember when you look back at your photographs? What are the things you are holding close at the moment? Those are the things to record.
Why do I photograph?
The reason why…is because I love this life.
Extracts taken from 2nd November, NanoPoblano2016.