Lately, I repeatedly question this to myself: why do we take these pictures? What do we want them for?
It’s not that all of a sudden, I forgot photos are important… but these last years I have the feeling that we care so much about social media and what we show there and when we show it, that it looks like if something is not in Instagram RIGHT AWAY, it’s like it didn’t happen at all.
The big bag of photos
I remember when I was a little girl, my grandma used to have a big plastic bag full of family photos. She also had an album for some very not-spontaneous-at-all photos taken by a photographer, but those pictures you’d take in a normal day were in the big (like, really big) plastic bag.
As a child, I could spend hours looking at those pictures: there it was my 4-years-old mom, her backyard full of roses, her cat, the store where my grandfather used to work, and even some birthday photos I guess once have been framed.
What I don’t have (and I almost didn’t get to see) are pictures of my father’s childhood.
On his early years, he used to be pretty much poor and pictures were a luxury his family couldn’t afford.
The only photo I saw of him was a little portrait, like a passport picture. I remember how strange it’s been for me to find how blond he used to be (he has black hair now). And that was all: just a little portrait.
His story is absolutely unfamiliar to me: I can’t imagine him riding a bike, talking with his mom or fighting with his sister.
I don’t know if he had any pets and even I if did, I wouldn’t know how it looked like. I have no idea how his house was. Did he have a garden? Was there a balcony? Was the kitchen small or big?
I know a lot of anecdotes, I just can’t put those on images.
So, you see… for me, photography is not about the images per sé. And when I take photos, I am not thinking of how my clients want to look for their Instagram account.
What I’m thinking about is how their children and grandchildren will see them when they’re older, and even when they’re gone.
Your Story in Photos
When I’m taking family photos, I’m respectful and professional. I am there working (even though is relaxed and includes a lot of fun!) but the most important ingredient I put in it besides professionalism and observation, is love.
I believe in what I do, I am honest when I say I want those images to be part of a family treasure.
When I say “your story in photos”, believe me: I mean it.
And to deliver a family record to hold and pass down through generations takes a lot of time.
Even when I am with a family for just 2 or 3 hours, the process of editing them, especially, the process of choosing every image between sometimes thousands of photos, takes a while. I am not talking about months, but at least, a few days.
The sooner a photographer delivers a photo, the less love he/she puts on the process. We don’t only check if your face is awkward, or if we missed the focus.
We also don’t choose the picture for our own Instagram account.
So what are we doing then?
What we’re looking among all those pictures we took, what we’re trying to show, it’s what we were trying to capture: the way your children look like, the way you look at them, what your house looks like today, how your pets play with you, what’s your children favorite toy, how much mess do they do when they eat, how happy you are when you’re together, your face when you’re so tired of trying to make them do/stop doing something, your child’s face when you are trying to make him/her do/stop doing something.
If we just focus on social media and the need for everything happening right away, we lose the story.
Don’t get me wrong: I understand the rush, especially when we are expats and we want to share the pictures of our newborn with
Of course, this loving process of telling a story with images includes having, touching and holding your photos: I believe in printing pictures. (You can read more about why printing your photos in this post).
But, really, if you already read all this very long post about photos as a part of your story, which includes a bag of pictures and the importance of them for your children, would you doubt I believe printing is important?