I love browsing through old photographs. My children think I am old-fashioned because I print out photos and keep them in albums, but when they are looking for a picture they come to the albums to search! Mmmmm……
Between under the bed and the top presses in the wardrobe I have many many albums. So what happens when you look through old photographs? You go back in time, recapture memories and happy occasions, and relive them over again.
My Grandad, my Dad's father, had a Kodak Box Brownie camera. A most popular one at that time. We were shown how to take photos from an early age and trusted with the camera because it had a brown leather strap that went around your neck so the camera would not fall.
You looked down into the window at the top of the box, lined up your subject, and then clicked the shutter at the side and the picture was taken. It was absolutely ingenious piece of mechanism that brought joy to lots of families.
However, I was not the best photographer, as I tended to leave the heads of people and important items out of the picture! My son-in-law is a very creative photographer and has fabulous photos of the grandchildren. He gave me some very good advice when I was taking photos at my granddaughter's First Communion.
He directed me to look at the picture I was about to take. For example what the person or item of interest was if it was centered or not, and what light was coming through! Well I thought to myself, it was easier to learn how to drive!! No wonder his shots were fantastic, a lot of thought and planning went into them.
So that’s how good photos are taken, you actually have to think about the big picture first before you click the button! Well, that explains why mine were disastrous most of the time, I didn't do any thinking I just clicked, and we didn't find out until we got them developed, so the missing heads couldn’t be corrected and the occasion had passed by. At least now we have the phone cameras and if the photo doesn’t look good, we can change it immediately! (Phew thank goodness for that)
Going back to the Grandad, he really enjoyed taking the photos. As there were no mobile phones or videos, photographs were very valuable indeed. When the family gatherings happened the camera was out quickly. We had lots taken on Portmarnock beach when we were children, where we met our cousins on a Sunday morning in summertime. I loved those Sundays. First Communions, Confirmations, Weddings, and Christenings, were all treasured, adored, and browsed regularly from the albums.
Photos are also a great way for persons with a learning difference to help them recall events and people. Even when they are nonverbal, the look on the face of a person with a disability tells the story, when they realise something they had forgotten about.
Geoff loves looking at photos too and when I get them developed he spends ages talking about who is in them and more especially how well he looks if they feature him!
Don’t underestimate the power of a photo to bring back memories, to remind us of how to feel happier and most of all to record, the moments we want to cherish. I love to use them on a ‘droopy day’ they lift my mood and raise my vibration. It’s all in the big picture!