Monday 30 August 2010

Photographic Memories

The best kind of photograph is a moment of the past that would otherwise have been forgotten. We always like seeing parents' and grandparents' wedding photos, but the likelihood of them being taken for the purpose of showing future generations what the dress and church looked like is slim. More probably, they would have been taken as a reminder of the day, something with which to decorate the walls in the new marital home. 

My favourite photos are the ones that aren't self explanatory; they have a story that accompanies them, a story that may have other wise been lost or forgotten if a camera's shutter hadn't moved at that precise moment. These, among many others are the photos that I decorate my walls with. I could easily write a thousand words on each of three pictures alone.


As much as I love these photos and the idea of capturing a moment's beauty forever,  I do think that sometimes a camera inhibits actions. People seem to subconsciously become stiff and false the moment a camera is in the vicinity; they become aware of their actions. Even those who seem to look so effortlessly natural and relaxed in every photo taken of them are still aware of the camera on some level (although, perhaps, the same cannot be said of the couple walking on the beach; they had no idea their photo was being taken or indeed there was even a camera anywhere near them). 

Sometimes you just want to have fun.Just live in that moment. You may do things you regret slightly, things that are out of character but it doesn't matter too much. They are unlikely to be remembered by anyone unless there is photographic evidence or it is truly terrible. And it is this threat of an image that makes me always err on the side of caution when there is a camera near me. Sometimes photographs contain the most amazing memories, but sometimes, just sometimes they can take the edge off what could have been a moment of complete inhibition. 

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