Wikipedia defines a photograph as :
A photograph or photo is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene’s visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of what the human eye would see. The process and practice of creating photographs is called photography. The word “photograph” was coined in 1839 by Sir John Herschel and is based on the Greek ??? (phos), meaning “light”, and ????? (graphê), meaning “drawing, writing”, together meaning “drawing with light”.[1
As a photographer I see a photograph as being far more than mentioned above.
To me a photograph :
- sparks memories, feelings and thoughts.
- is something you have for a lifetime.
- talks to you and touches you.
- is something to cherish.
- captures a single moment that can never be seen again.
On a more personal note, I want to stress the importance of making the time and effort to take photographs when you are with your family. Earlier this year we planned a trip to New Zealand, for a well over due family vacation to see my parents and brother’s family.
Two weeks prior to leaving, my dad was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. Being a ‘professional photographer’ my plan was to apply my skills and get my own family portraits. I had the location and clothing colors all thought out. Unfortunately time was not on my side and my plans for family portraits didn’t eventuate due to my dad’s health. Instead I focused on getting the last photographs of my dad so I would have moments and memories to take from this difficult time.
Today I look at the photos I captured and feel so fortunate I got my camera out even though it was hard. I don’t want to ever forget my dad’s last weeks, days and hours. It is inevitable my memories will fade but I know I have photographs to remind me of the time I felt the closest to my dad and my family. It was a gift to be present with my dad as he passed and having photos will always bring me back to this time.
You never know what tomorrow will bring. So next time you are with family, pick up your point and shoot or SLR camera, it doesn’t matter how good you are at photography. It is who you are photographing that is important!
Photographing families brings me even more joy today. I am rewarded when I can capture the love between a family and bring it to life on their living room walls. I love what I do and I am grateful for what my camera shows me through its lens.
Here is a fun little video that actually inspired me to write this post today.