I absolutely love taking photographs, and I love even more looking back through them at times gone by, and suddenly remembering a detail I would otherwise have forgotten.
Yesterday, deep in thought about my fast growing son, I suddenly realised there’s so much of his first years which I don’t remember. My sister had said to me, “remember when he used to say “fwower” instead of flower?” and it threw me back into a time when he was just learning to talk. Perhaps I don’t spend enough time trying to remember, but I have noticed how easily I seem to forget some of the details of my past years. This is good for forgetting bad times, I am thankful of that, but my son grows so fast and I want to remember every moment, every detail, every adventure.
Perhaps this is one of the main reasons I take so many photographs. I imagine that some of the time, its not very pleasant to be on the receiving end, with a camera taken out and pointed towards you at every opportune moment, and sometimes my son does request that it is put away. A lot of the time, it is far better to concentrate more on enjoying the moment rather than trying to capture it, but a few snapshots taken here and there sometimes seem almost essential, and there are photographs I am so immensely proud of that I am so glad I took out my camera that day.
I can look back and remember. What it was like when J would fall asleep on the lounge floor in the afternoon. Just how cute he looked when he walked the dog for the first time by himself. How he used to line up his toy cars in a long wobbly line across the floor. Exactly how the snowman looked that I built with my boyfriend. Just how beautiful Portsmouth harbour looks at night. How J’s smile has changed over the years.
I would probably remember those first few nights of having a baby as ones of relentless screaming in the darkness, but thanks to my photos I can also remember just how tiny, vulnerable and sweet my newborn was.
If it wasn’t for a photograph, I would probably remember how guilty I felt that I couldn’t afford a party for J’s 3rd birthday, and how his father turned up late. But instead I am able to remember how much fun we had with the picnic foods and new toys spread out round us.
Sometimes I feel I take too many photos and videos, snaphappy even, but I am so thankful for the things I am able to remember as trawl through photographs from years gone by. For memories are truly wonderful and precious things.