The Power of a picture.
I faintly, yet intensely remember one odd day from my childhood, sat just outside the loft next to the staircase in my house. My dad rummaging through the disordered compendium of books and boxes that was the old photographs, tapes and mementos collected throughout the years. This mess, in a sense was the story of our family, printed pictures of a live lived well before I arrived on the scene, wedding days, anniversaries, birthdays, parties, family members I had not met. I remember sitting in the floor with him hearing the somber tone of his voice as he reminisced the moments in these photographs - venturing into the great symphony of sentiment we call the past. It was at this moment that I had realised the power of a photo.
"You never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory" This cliche phrase that you usually find slapped on a stock image and shared by your eccentric aunt Facebook holds some truth in it. We go through life like a rower does, facing backwards towards the past, while we steer the vessel of life forward - we find it hard to avert our eyes from the past. AW Tozer says "All within us cries for life and permanence and everything around us reminds us of mortality and change"
With every profound moment that we experience in this life, the instinct to reach for a camera is always there to accompany it, the inclination to seal an experience for all it’s worth within the confines of a rectangle. As almost to stop the world from moving so fast, with every click of the shutter, we’re trying to press pause on our lives. If only so we can feel a little more comfortable moving on.
Photography and videography is a means to make impermanent fragments of our lives and make them permanent, it allows us to live in places we’ve moved away from, to have things that we have since lost, to be versions of ourselves we once were, it allows those who have left this world to stay with us a little longer.
Photography is more than the clicking of a shutter, photography is a world that stays still, to contrast our one that does not. A picture taken today will years from now be a memento - when I shoot a wedding or any other type of event, this is ultimately the mindset that I have, I'm not fulfilling a booking, I'm making a temporary moment permanent by the press of a button.
Your wedding day goes by far quicker than you think possible, and too much happens outside the reach of your eyes - this is where the camera comes in. The clearest most authentic way to relive your wedding day is through a video and then second to that, a photo. That exact day you are living through only goes by once, the ability to have your day repeated, captured and contained within the confines of a rectangle is of greater value than we can imagine.
In however many years time, who will be watching your video? You of course, but also your future kids, who were not born yet, or even too young to remember anything beyond the toys they were gifted, attention they were bombarded with and the uncomfortable clothes they wore against their will. A wedding video is yes, absolutely a treat to yourself now, and a fun way to remember your day. But more than that - it is a gift to those who are yet to grace your life, whose laughter has yet to be heard, and who's smile has yet to permanently leave it's mark within the depths of your memory. For your children, who will someday face the unfortunate reality of a life that no longer has you in it, but will have odd mementos in the form of photos and videos to keep you ever close.
Because some day your voice will wither, your walk will change and and the default look that rests on your face when you concentrate will soon be accompanied with wrinkles. But the version of you that fits within the frame of a wedding picture and video, that version of you remains unchanged - immune to the harsh passage of time.
That is the power of a picture.