When I was a young girl something that I loathed most, was getting my photo taken. My tiny hands sticky with icing, following some imaginary quest, and I was forced to stop in my tracks and produce the most annoyed and cheesy grin this world has ever seen.
However, now one of my favorite things is to escape for a second and look back at this birthday. If my mother wouldn’t have taken those few extra seconds to snap that picture, I may not have remembered just how happy that day was for me.
That’s one of the best parts about photography, for just a second you are transported back to the thrill your child felt on Christmas morning when they opened up that huge box sitting beneath pine needles. You may not remember everything about that day- but you sure do get a snap shot.
As generations shift and time sprints itself forward, its precious to think back to the clothes you used to wear that seems crazy now or maybe that hairdo that is so out of style. Images of our past can help us remember the sensations, feelings and imagery of those moments.
Photography also has that special ability to put a face to those we have lost. When reminiscing about those important people, we can remind ourselves of the features that may fade in our minds. What a beautiful gift it is to be able to show others what these special human beings looked like. Through photography we can connect to our ancestry, live out priceless moments and give a tangible face to our loved ones. Although the frames may become thick with dust, and the pigment may begin to fade, photos are truly a time capsule.
So, as I sit here looking at my young cheeky grin, I realize now just how special photos can be. From the wise words of my mother, “You can delete as many of these pictures as you like… But you can never go back to this moment.”
Kate Grady Student of Psychology at Belmont University and Intern with The Center for Modern Family Dynamics