You know that person, the one always wielding an unwieldy camera at social gatherings just snap, snap, snapping away capturing life’s greatest moments? That’s me. I’m definitely the photo-taker in my family and in my circle of friends and I love it. I love looking back at old photos and I think it’s important to capture and preserve memories. I use the term ‘photo-taker’ as opposed to the word ‘photographer’ because the former is more of a ‘memory maker’ and doesn’t necessarily have a keen interest in the mechanics of photography.
It started in primary school when I would take disposable cameras on school camps and wait eagerly to get the films developed so I could look at grainy photos of kids in a canoe. Or standing in front of a flimsy looking hut they’d built. I have photos from the hallways and classrooms at high school, at the tram stop where I spent so may hours. If you’re not a photo-taker I guarentee you have at least one in your life. Here’s what we want you to know:
I take photos of you because I love you
I want to capture a memory of you laughing with a friend, in absolute awe at the top of a mountain, swapping stories with your grandma or dancing like a maniac at a 21st so in many years you can look back and remember how happy and beautiful you were and still are. Sure, people take these kinds of photos on phones but phones get updated, lost or are just poor quality. I take photos on cameras, I print them, I blog them, I share them on social media and importantly, I back them up. What’s the first thing people say they regret losing in a house fire? Photos. Because they are precious and intrinsically linked to history and memory. I’ve literally never heard anyone say ‘I wish I didn’t have so many photos from my childhood’. This article about a man who only discovered he had zero photos of his mother until after she died brought tears to my eyes.
It does sting when you roll your eyes at me
If I had a dollar for every time someone got annoyed at me for taking so many photos, but then used one of my snaps to post to their own social media I could buy a pretty darn fancy camera! It’s the epitome of hypocrisy and not to mention rude. On any given day I see photos I’ve taken used in #flashbackfriday posts or in a collage for someone’s birthday. That’s awesome! But don’t roll your eyes or make fun of my photo taking only to benefit from it later. I always tell my friends they’ll be grateful when they’re old and ugly and have photos of their youth, but the truth is I’ll still be taking photos when I’m ancient and withered.
The photo bombing/pulling a funny face thing is really lame
I get that this is a mechanism for covering up shyness or feeling awkward about having your photo taken, but if you’re pulling a dumb face I’m just going to stand there until you stop, thereby dragging out the process and making it even more awkward… So yeah. Those ‘joke’ photos rarely make it off the camera’s memory card so lets not waste our time people.
Stand straight/sunglasses off/big smile please
It really doesn’t matter how much makeup you have on, or how tired you think you look, a big beautiful smile will always look good. As will standing or sitting up straight. I also often ask people to take their sunnies off for a photo (something people usually hate) because I want to see their eyes, it really makes the photo more personal.
I want to be in the photos too
I’m really lucky to have a boyfriend and friends who will happily jump behind the camera to get me in the picture too. I am not afraid to ask to have my photo taken and I won’t apologise for it. I’ve certainly copped flack for appearing to be one of those women who demand their boyfriend (aka the #instagramhusband) take photos of them but I don’t care. I take photos of other people all the time. Am I not worth having photos of? Speaking of people who are worth taking photos of; mothers. There seems to be a trend of mums taking photos of dad with the kids but never being in the photos themselves. To quote blogger Sophie Cacia in her open letter to dads on instagram ‘take the goddamn bloody photo‘!
So without further ado, here are some photos I love:
So many great memories. Go on, take more photos of your loved ones. You won’t regret it.