Infotrends estimates that 1.2 trillion photos were taken over the course of 2017. That equates to over 2 billion pictures taken a day and means that more pictures are taken every two minutes than were taken throughout the 1800s. That. Is. Incredible.
Of course a lot of those numbers can be attributed to the easy access of decent cameras in our smartphones but it makes me wonder, what gives us that desire to want to take a picture in the first place?
Below I want to share with you some of the images that stand out to me and explain just three of the main reasons why I believe photography matters.
1. Keeps memories of those who have gone before us alive in our hearts
I'd like to start with this picture that I took of my son, Luca, and my dad.
At the time of taking this, I absolutely hated everything about it (quality-wise of course). First, I was using a beginner DSLR camera which does not do well in low light situations. I hated that it was out of focus and sooo dark. It bothered me to no end that there was so much noise in the background and I had to keep telling myself that this was just a practice shot, and as soon as I upgraded my gear, I was going to take another one just like it. In fact, I was even reluctant to take this one at all because I was aware of the "limitations" of my gear....
Turns out, I never got the chance to retake this picture. My father passed away a few short months after it was taken and this is one of the few photos I have of Luca and my dad, especially in their matching hats. This immediately became and still remains my favorite picture that I've taken. All of a sudden, I no longer saw any of its technical inadequacies. Instead I saw a beautiful moment happening between a grandfather and his grandson... my father and my son.
At some point Luca is going to ask about his grandfather and I will always have this photo to pull up and say, "He was a great man who loved you very much." Because of photography I was able to capture this moment which will now live on forever.
2. It has the power to turn a house into a home
I'll never forget the feeling I got when I first walked into our house and saw that Rita hung pictures of the kids on our walls... I know what you're probably thinking, "umm, aren't you a photographer? Don't you have so many images of your kids hanging on your walls that you can probably just consider it wallpaper?" Well, the short answer is, no.
The long answer is, as soon as I walked passed the wall and saw that the picture of the leaf that I took years ago was replaced with smiling images of two of the most important people in my life, my heart absolutely melted.
I've walked in and out of my house a zillion times passing by pictures of bridges and sunsets but never have those images given me that warm, homey feeling the way those pictures of Mia and Luca have. They literally have the power to turn a day filled with anger and frustration into a day filled with peace and gratitude.
From that moment on, Rita and I agreed that we can never have enough pictures of our family hanging on our walls.
…who knows, maybe one day we could reach wallpaper status
3. It reminds us of who we used to be, shows us how far we've come, and encourages us to continue to grow
This is a picture of Rita and I standing in front of the building I spent most of my days in for the first few years of our marriage. At that time, we had no idea how different our lives were going to be in just a few short months.
First, this was all pre-parenthood days (Rita is actually pregnant with our first child, Mia, in this picture) and second, when I decided to go back to school at the ripe old age of 27, I had no idea what roads were lying ahead. I still remember the mixed emotions I felt standing on those steps. Feelings of accomplishment, happiness and excitement were abundant but so were feelings of nervousness, uncertainty and fear.
Looking back it's funny to think of how fear played such a role in my life. At first I used to let it hold me back and talk me out of doing the things that I really wanted to do. But when I finally decided I needed to make a change and go back to school, I had no choice but to learn how to turn that fear into motivation.
Nowadays, I've come to appreciate that fear because it keeps me motivated, focused and causes me to be intentional with my actions as I progress in my photography business.
This image reminds me that we are all capable of creating our own futures. We are not destined to go in any one direction. We can pick and choose any destination we'd like and even change course as often as we'd like. And as long as we don't let our fears get in the way and we understand that we can use them for something positive, nothing is impossible.
Sometimes I honestly believe that the best part of any picture is not the image itself, but the memories and stories that come along with it. Each one of the pictures above comes with a whole rush of memories and emotions that are unique to each photo.
With the insane amount of photos that are captured on a daily basis, it’s incredible to think that the majority of them carry the same weight of importance for the people taking and viewing them like the way that these do for me.
This is why I believe that photography matters.
I would love to see all of the images you thought of during this post and encourage you to share them in the comments below with a brief explanation of why they matter so much to you. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!