The meaning beyond the photographs
The meaning beyond the photograph.
Did you grow up with memories on your walls?
I have always been drawn to photographs ever since I was a little girl.
If I would step into someone else's home the first thing I would always be drawn to were the framed photographs on walls or windowsills.
I would go there and I would look at them. I would also want know whats happening in the pictures, who was in them and where they were.
I would ask questions about peoples lives and who these people were. I felt a part of people's stories. Some people would have portraits of relatives. The old black and white film photographs were my favourite. They had had a real realness to them.
They were obviously important which they why they made it into frames in the first place.
I just adored looking at them. I felt something and that was "Connection."
What made me sad is that we had very few photographs around my home when I grew up.
I remember a framed picture of my grandfather (my mum's dad) who had died of cancer. The image sat on the windowsill in the living room and a few other small ones, I think maybe one of those was a school portrait of us kids.
It made me sad, and when I went to other people's homes I loved to see their memories and special moment's take pride of place.
I felt a part of something much bigger than little old me.
There was nothing in our home that symbolised "Family" "togetherness"
So when I was old enough I started taking my own photographs when I got my first camera. I collected images for years and then finally spent hours creating a beautiful collage that showed every single one of my immediate family and made it into a giant frame that could take pride of place in our family home. I also photographed the moment it was opened. That was where the magic happened. I got to see how much family really meant to my family. I got to see the power that photographs had. They hadn't put an importance on having images in the home but I had and this was probably a spark that led me to my career.
Other than that all the photographs were still in the paper folders that come from the photoshop and all in boxes. Rarely any of them made it into albums.
My family hated being in photographs, there were always excuses about them not feeling comfortable, overweight etc.
Maybe it's one of the reasons I became a Documentary photographer (mainly non- posed) because I knew full how people's excuses about how they feel about themselves can be a reason for feeling uncomfortable and not being in photographs.
Photographs where everyone is together ie the family image and having this as a feature image in the home (even just having family pictures really roots importance in where you belong.
The funny thing is that without realising it, I have ALWAYS encouraged the one large feature "family image" portrait for my clients as an importance when they work with me. I realise fully now that this is directly related to not having a family portrait on my wall growing up and how I feel that is so important for children to grow up with.
I encourage my client to have that one image that is where everyone is together and that it is displayed somewhere that they can be reminded every day of how important the family unit is.
Because photographs mean something more.
Beyond the photographs is the meaning that if the family image is put in pride of place in your home (and it's bigger than your tv) then it symbolizes your values and the value that you place on your family.
This is how much it means to me.
I promise you that this small gesture because it's only small (but really it's big) will have a profound effect on your children.
They can see where they belong and where they fit in.
In this one image, it will speak to them subconsciously of how important you are together as a unit.
That is something we all NEED to know in our hearts,
Photographs are more than a snap, a print a framed image.
Photographs and the love felt from them have the ability to carry love, stories, values and everything we understand about being connected and about the importance of the Family Unit.
I make photographs and films to remind you how loved you are because you are loved more than you know.
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