I have been wondering for a few days whether to share this or not, but I've decided I should. It's kind of come at a pivotal moment in my career as a photographer and this story only cements in my heart why I do what I do.
On Sunday, the boyfriend and I were at his relative's with some of his family; we spent the afternoon eating in the sun and chatting about, well, mainly about Game of Thrones… Once the sun started to set and things got a bit chilly, we decanted into the sun room for more conversation. The talk turned to the babies of the family; the ever-growing brood and the newest member, a 2 month old little girl.
A photo was shared around and cooing noises were made.
Then, another image was brought out. It showed one of my boyfriend's relatives with their, sadly, late spouse. The spouse had passed away quite some time ago, a long time before I met my boyfriend and far too young. The photo, all sepia tinged, mottled and framed in a mount envelope, was a wedding portrait. Two faces smiling out; one of whom I had never met. But that didn't matter. When you hold a photograph like that in your hands, you don't need to have known the person to know who they were. The smiles said it all; the love was evident and, as such, the grief still remains.
The room became emotionally charged as conversation turned to this person and the memories and voids they had left behind. Time does not heal all wounds, but it affords us the capacity to accept life as it has become and is becoming.
As people reminisced, it hit me; THIS is why I make photographs. THIS is why I feel the urge to capture people in a frame. A fleeting moment that, in some cases, can be all too fleeting. And yet, that moment - THAT, EXACT moment, will be forever captured. Like a tiny spot of someone, a piece of them, of their soul, forever trapped between the edges of the frame. Forever able to be looked upon and to be looked out of. That moment will never come back, yet it is here, in front of me. THEY are here.
It is these photographs that, when the people we love are gone, bring us comfort and sanctuary. They ignite the memories we hold so dear and in doing so, are kept alive. They watch over us from their frames and, because of these photographs, will always be with us.
Capture your loved ones in their frames - as many frames as you can make - before you no longer have the chance.
This is why I make photographs.
Yep, that's me as a young'un, with chocolate everywhere!