Not long ago, I met up with a lovely friend of mine for dinner and a chinwag. The food and company was fab as always, but a part of our conversation left me a little bit sad. Someone in her family was getting married but wasn’t bothered about photographs in the slightest – she hadn’t arranged anything and thought maybe guests might take photos throughout the day.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect people to be as bonkers about photography as I am, but to not really want any record of your wedding at all? That made me a little sad for her.
One thing I’ve started to understand is that photos are important. Really, really important. You might not realise now, because they might not matter to you so much. But your photos will matter to someone.
I went to visit my parents a couple of years ago and one evening my Dad unearthed what I thought was absolute treasure – family photos I’d never seen before, going back a few generations. He’d recently been given them by another member of the family for safekeeping. There were lots of photos – of my family, of my dad when he was young, of people we couldn’t recognise, of serious faces, of laughing faces, of family pets, of houses, of holidays. The most precious ones to me though were ones of my paternal grandparents, both of whom passed away when I was relatively young and who I never got to know. I remember fragments of them – dancing in the living room with my grandad, or making marzipan with my nan. But it’s all a bit sketchy and it really breaks my heart that I never knew them properly.
At least now I have this:
I make no apologies for the fact that my grandad would appear to be THE coolest guy in the world :) Gotta love that pipe! And how happy does my nan look?
And then there’s these two photos which my nan and grandad sent to each other during the second world war when my grandad was posted to the middle east. The best thing about these photos? The declarations of love written on the back (which I won’t write out, you guys don’t need to hear that ;) ).
And just to complete the picture, here they are with me, many many years later ;)
I was the first girl in – would you believe – THREE generations of boys, so they were chuffed when I came along. I love this photo.
That’s only part of the story, because a very short while ago I lost my maternal grandfather. I’m really grateful that at least I knew him while I was an adult, but he lived several thousand miles away in Hong Kong so I didn’t get a chance to see him as much as I would’ve liked. When I received the bad news, the first thing I did was to get my album of photographs. It was a way of being nearer.
Here he is, I’m told, on his wedding day with my grandma, both looking positively regal.
Another photo I love more than I have words for.
Photos are SO important.