A photograph of my dad and me. One of the things I treasure most. It’s always nearby and it’s stuck inside my favourite book for days when I need it. It’s me (in the middle), my dad and my friend. My dad is holding me up. He held me up a lot until I was 24. He loved me and guided me, he roasted me, he paid my debts, he bought me my first car, he taught me how to shake hands properly and advised me never to go for an interview with bare legs that look like corned beef. He died when he was 47 and I was 24. He died on his birthday. He was a tidy man and he will like that he rounded his life off to the day although he would have liked to have lived much longer and seen all of his grandchildren. We have beautiful photographs of him around so we can show his grandchildren pictures and they get a sense of who he was. They can see how they resemble him in some way physically. The thing is you never get over it. You don’t cry every single day like you do at first, but you never get past it. The photographs are a comfort and a reminder. Some days I laugh at them and some days they destroy me again, mostly on Fathers Day and on March 24.
This post started to bloom yesterday when I was on my bike ride (it’s my thinking time and a lot of things bloom during that hour) I was thinking about Father’s Day on Sunday. I managed to avoid a massive cry until 1.20pm. I clenched my jaw a lot up ’till that point and resisted the urge to play a song that reminds me of him mainly because I had to go out later on. I didn’t make it and I reached for that book and looked at my favourite photograph stuck inside the cover.
The point of this post though is not to make you cry or make you sad it’s to celebrate the beauty of a photograph that’s printed. In an age when everything is digital we must print our treasure. I can’t bear the thought that in years to come if you can even find your usb stick it just won’t work. I have photographed many, many couples who have lost someone since their wedding day and the photographs they have became much more significant and treasured afterwards. I know this because they get in touch to tell me. The nostalgia we feel coming across an old photograph is incredible, and as the saying goes these are the things we’d take with us if our house was burning down.
I’m on a bit of a crusade with this. I print my instagrams because they have become our family snaps. My dad would take photographs on film and they would be developed at Max Speilmann in Altrincham and the excitement we’d feel going to pick them up is the same excitement I feel when the FedEx box arrives with all my recent instagrams printed in perfect little squares.
I love the thought that in years to come my couples will be curled up on the sofa with their children and grandchildren and they’ll be looking through images of their wedding day together, chuckling at the fashion and the hairdos and when some of our loved ones have passed away they will be our most treasured possessions.
Print your photographs.