The Importance of Family Photography

analog camera brownie camera 1830

Why you should invest in photographic art.

Not long before my paternal grandmother passed away, I spent a few weeks with her sorting through her photographs. Her eyesight was failing badly but she could still recognise her loved ones in the photographs. She reminisced and told stories while I put all her cherished photographs into albums, and wrote out the labels with names, places and dates.

photo from 1930s of man and two women eating sandwiches, family photography

Some of the images dated as far back as the 1920s, when my grandmother was a young woman. They were most likely taken with a Box Brownie or similar. Cameras were not cheap, nor was printing, so every click of the shutter had to be considered. The resulting photographs were treasured, carefully labelled, framed, hung on walls, moved from home to home… loved.

The Future of Family Photography

Fast forward 100 years and a digital revolution and photographs are expendable. Images of pouting faces with bunny ears are splashed all over our social media, only to be deleted or lost forever into cyberspace. How many of these images will still be around in another 100 years? Who will love and cherish these 21st Century ‘portraits’?

stock image of two friends taking a selfie

And amidst the goofy faces, or the smooth-skin selfies, sometimes we take a photo that we really love; that shows our loved ones as we actually see them, or that captures a moment we want to remember forever. These are the ones we use as screen savers, or that are allowed to remain on our devices even when we are running low on storage. The ones we share with family, the ones that receive the most likes. They are the markers, the visual narratives of our family lives.

These images are the ones that should end up in albums like my Nana’s, that one day will be held by grandchildren who will marvel at the clothes, the hairstyles, the family likenesses. Every generation should be able to hold their family history in their hands, run their fingers over the faces of their own personal story.

That is why I do this. That is why photography is worth the investment. Photographs are our history. They are our memories. They link us to our past and allow us to live on into a future we may never see.

2 Replies to “The Importance of Family Photography”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *