Looking Back…

I’ve now built up a rather huge catalogue of photos of our family (well mainly the girls) and from time to time if I get a chance, I do try to look back through them. At the end of the year, for example, I usually put together a calendar with favourite photos that I’ve taken over the previous 12 months. I’m now looking back even further as I plan to create an album for each of the girls with photos of their first 5 years (something I’ve been meaning to do for quite sometime…hopefully now that I’ve written it down I will actually get around to it!).

What always strikes me when I look back at older photos, is how my perception of them changes with the passage of time. Photos that I perhaps dismissed when I initially took them (probably because I thought I could have done a better job taking them), I appreciate so much more now. I think this is because photos are intrinsically linked to memories of a day or event, and if a photo brings back happy memories, then I will probably love that photo all the more, even though it might not be technically perfect.

I love it when I stumble across photos that I had forgotten I had taken, or a little gem that I hadn’t previously noticed. I try to take the camera whenever we are out and about with the children (most weekends) and just take a few pictures. I’m always looking for the light or a different angle, while being conscious of my background and so on. But lately I’ve tried to remind myself that my photos don’t always have to be technically perfect, because at the end of the day I’m also creating memories, and when I look back it will be the emotions, the expressions and hopefully the smiles that will really tell the story of the day.

I recently heard another photographer say that there is no one magic formula that will always guarantee getting a great photograph. I think that is very true. However, I do think that there are two very important elements to creating great photographs and if you have both of these then you are almost half way there. These are good light and a happy atmosphere…think lazy, summers afternoons in the garden…ideally late afternoon as the light will be so much better!

Okay I know that I’m a little obsessed, but I’m genuinely so glad that I now have this back catalogue of photos which, each year somehow becomes more meaningful. How the children have changed now since I took those first photos with my DSLR!

So if you haven’t picked up your camera in a while then please do. You might not feel that the photos you take are very significant at the time, but they will be in the future. Take photos, keep them, organise them, share them, definitely print some and treasure them. You will appreciate them so much more in years to come and your children, if you have them, will have them to look back on too…