“Photography is an affair with life.”
It is a cold winter morning. Sunlight pours in from the window and fills the entire living room. You are on the couch, comfortably snuggled inside a blanket. The coffee is still hot, so you decide to let it rest for a while, and start sifting through the pages of an old family album. As you look at the photographs, you are taken back to the bygone years, when that jeans used to still fit, that hair colour was still vogue and your first born had just learnt to walk. Your heart is immediately filled with a bittersweet longing for those moments and you wish to travel back in time.
Photographs act like little timestamps and milestones, continuously reminding you of what life used to be, and how far along you have come.
Weddings, birthdays, vacations, anniversaries, graduations – you always carry your camera to freeze all the important life events in time. Looking back at these pictures, you can almost relive the cherished moments.
The Digital Medium
With the advent of social media, the habit of taking pictures round the clock has become all the more compulsory. High quality mobile cameras ensure that you never fail to impress with your photography skills. It might get a little overbearing at times. But apps like Instagram are actually enabling us to leave digital footprints for our future self and the generations to come.
A few months back, I came across the Instagram account of a young Chicago based photographer. She lost her husband on New Year’s Eve last year. In order to cope with the grief, she started sharing glimpses of her life with her husband on Instagram. While this has given an outlet to all her emotions, it has also given me another chance to understand the importance of photography. I am overwhelmed by the sheer strength of the emotions that her photographs evoke in me.
Looking at her posts, I can almost visualize what happened before the picture was taken, and what happened afterwards. Thus, I have also become a (virtual) part of her grief.
Photographs have helped me overcome loss. They have allowed me to express myself, when words have failed. Whenever my friends come to me for any photography-related tips and tricks, I only have one thing to tell them. I encourage them to as many photographs as they can. Not only does it help in the learning process, but it also gives you a zillion memories for your future. Fleeting moments might seem insignificant in real time. But once gone, they creep inside your mind in the form of reminiscence. Photographs only allow you to record the moments in a tangible form, before they turn into intangible memories.