Recording Life

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.

Throughout this month I – along with many others – am taking part in NanoPoblano, the Internet’s least-official November blog challenge. Click here to see the full list of Cheer Peppers.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Liz Ward says:

    Gorgeous! It’s interesting, I thought I hadn’t taken many photos this year, but I looked back on my camera roll and realised I’d taken quite a few. There have been good moments this year, despite it all. And I’m glad I’ve taken photos of some of them! Sometimes I think of photography as a lens to appreciate life more too. I’ve found I’m taking more photos lately, and thinking about taking more too. I’m glad because it means my creativity is coming back to life – slowly, but I’m so happy it’s still there ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you. And yes, yes to all of this – in celebration that moments have been recorded, in agreement of photography being a way to appreciate life all the more, and for more photos to come. Creativity will always be there, even when we think we have forgotten how, it’s there, tucked away and waiting patiently for us to reconnect. It’s a comfort, and I’m so happy too, that it’s returning for you xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. XingfuMama says:

    I take a lot of photos, with a camera, not a phone. The only “theme” is what catches my eye. On a usual day this is flowers, leaves, clouds and the occasional bird or squirrel. When I travel I look for what gives a sense of place. I occasionally try to do street type photography but am not going anywhere right now. Since the pandemic my photos are mostly of flowers around our neighborhood and of the beach at my dad’s. I have been focusing more on post processing than taking pictures lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah says:

      I do love your photographs, and the flowers are stunning. Thank you for sharing them with us, and for sharing what you’re drawn to, I’m drawn to similar things. This year has been amazing in giving time to reconnect with nature; from being at home more, we’ve seen things we may have missed before – including a woodpecker who kept visiting the trees out the back! Tried to get a good photo but never seem to get there in time…maybe when it next visits. Post processing is a lovely suspension of time, too – I find it can be like tethering yourself to two places at once. Thank you, again, for sharing. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. rarasaur says:

    Lovely! I think your love of life shows in all your photographs. I mostly take photos of myself, with camera or phone, but also of tiny things I notice. It’s very much an unprofessional hobby of mine, 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you, I’m so glad you think so! I love your photographs too, especially your self portraits – it always makes me smile to see your lovely self pop up. It’s one of the best hobbies there is, I think. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome photography! I love to take pictures too on a very low level. My husband bought me a fancy dancy camera outfit and it just intimidated the life out of me. Ha! Afraid the phone is just too easy to pass up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you, and yay for the love of taking pictures! Oh, goodness, yes, the sophisticated cameras are intimidating – even after using a DSLR for almost 10 years, I still don’t know everything there is to know…not sure if I ever will, to be honest. I just know what I need to know, and if that fails, I keep trying to learn, or, wing it! Phone cameras are so, so good now, though, I use mine a lot too! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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