Why Are Photos Important? Portraits & Your Legacy, In Images.
As I sit here, working at my desk and writing this blog post, I am surrounded by images of my own family - My mother, my father, my husband, our dog. Other photographs of many family members and close friends are dotted all around our home, also. People whom are important to us, and whom we love and care about.
Both of my parents passed away when I was relatively young and, although that was a very difficult time for me, I feel blessed that my mother was such an enthusiast when it came to having professional photographs taken - Both of herself and of us, together!
My uncle was a professional photographer and produced some beautiful photos of my beloved mum, before I came along.
And I am not alone in feeling that photographs are so important, I am sure!
Many songs have been written about them: Ed Sheeran talks about "keeping this love in a photograph”, A Flock of Seagulls, in Wishing (If I had a photograph of you), Weezer, Nickleback and R.E.M all had songs called “Photograph”.
Famously, in one of my most favourite videos, Madonna invites us to “strike the pose” and mentions these legendary names, and fabulous words:
Photography is an iconic and irreplaceable medium of preserving your memories, your story - Your legacy! It’s about how it makes us feel. It’s about people.
Mother and Baby Photography styling has come a long way since this photo of my mother holding me, was taken - But the loving look a mum gives her child is something that never changes!
These photos are my personal family heirloom and legacy, and I am 100% passionate and believe that everyone should have that - Whether or not you are a parent!
IT IS NOT ABOUT JUST ONE STYLE OF PORTRAITS!
So far I have given examples of portraits which are special in my own life but, of course, it is not only about portraits of mother-and-child.
A photographic family heirloom and legacy should, absolutely, include portraits of you as an individual in your own right, with your own story, whether or not you are a parent. It is not selfish or vain, but a way of allowing your loved ones to remember you, as you are now.
A professional portrait, a makeover portrait, a portrait with your sibling(s), your partner, your best friend(s). These are all important and varied aspects of all our lives and part of all our stories. They definitely should not be forgotten!
We all know the many faces of generations before ours, through the medium of photography, and most of us own at least one image professionally taken of a beloved family member.
IT IS NOT VANITY. AND, YES, YOUR ARE WONDERFUL ENOUGH!
I am very aware that many people feel that having a portrait of themselves, without the presence of a child or a partner in the same photograph, is a sign of vanity and they feel they will be judged, as such.
I must, strongly, disagree.
I believe that it is incredibly important for us all to be kind to ourselves. To be realistic and to appreciate who we are.
Knowing we are all wonderful in our own way is healthy. Being happy with who we are is healthy! Recording our lives with beautiful photos is smart and awesome! Vanity does not come int it.
Just think about how many times we turn on the tv and someone is talking about their family or their own history and a beautiful portrait is either shown or is in the background.
Or when you visit a friend and they display their family photos with a lot of pride.
Not vanity. History. Family. Love.
AND AS IF I NEEDED TO TELL YOU…
If anyone out there still needs to be convinced that photos are utterly important:
Photos are everywhere! Magazines, books, websites, social media: We need and want to see what is being talked about. It enriches our experience. We explore the world with all our senses.
Photos allow us to be taken back to a happy place or a happy time in our lives, immediately
We love to look at photos of a loved one and relive special moments
We love to show our special photographs and take people on a journey
We share beautiful images of special people we care about, and it makes us feel proud
We are wowed when we see professionally photos of ourselves, showing us in our best light
A great photo can, and will, help you to build amazing self-confidence
We treasure photographs of our children as they grow up and change
We treasure photographs of our partners, which we keep in that special frame
We treasure photographs of our parents, whether they are still with us or not
We treasure photographs of our best friends, and relive great memories
I could cite many more reasons why photos are utterly important, and I am sure you will have your own reasons too…
WHY CHOOSE PROFESSIONAL PORTRAITS WHEN YOUR PHONE IS ABSOLUTELY FULL OF GREAT PHOTOS?!
All I will say is that the best way of getting amazing photos which will last for generations, whether technology changes or not, is to have your images produced by a professional who understands lighting, composition, colour balance, and who can offer truly professional printing which will ensure your images look amazing for many, many, years to come.
Photographic prints never run out of battery!
To me photographs are important not simply because I am a professional photographer. I am also a daughter, mother, wife, friend. They remind me of who I am, where I have been, how far I have come. They will, in the (hopefully very distant) future, allow my loved ones to remember me and to look back at my life, with joy!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it has given you food for thought!
Andrea de Gabriel