I love taking pictures. If you know me personally, you have probably realised of this. Whenever I go to a new place, I need to carry my camera. Whenever I’m living an epic moment, I need to take out my phone and shoot it. Whenever I’m having great time with someone, I need to take a photo of us having fun. I suppose people will link this behaviour to the digital era and the current “bragging generation”. When I say “bragging generation, I’m talking about people who use social media to portray their lives as perfect and successful through photos. I don’t have an issue with this behaviour. But normally I don’t take pictures to brag in Instagram or to show off in Facebook. Or better said: the pictures that matter most to me rarely reach the Internet.
So, why do I take those pictures? Well, I take those pictures to immortalise the present. Time is a funny measurement. We basically created it. Humans we decided when an hour is an hour, when a year is a year. We control time. And time controls us. However when comes to the past, present and future, we always care a lot about our history and our destination. But we never care about the journey. We spend more time thinking about what we did wrong years ago than thinking about what we are currently doing wrong. We rather spend hours planning our perfect futures rather than making sure we currently live happy. We always look behind and forward. And we forget that life is not short, nevertheless it is not infinite. Nothing matters more than the present. Nothing. We can’t change the past: we can just learn from it. We can’t control the future: we can just hope and walk towards what we want.
Due to all this, photos are to me a friendly reminder that nothing is forever and once I didn’t value the present enough. Because one day you are happy and smiling, the next one you can’t stop crying. One day you are friends with someone, the next one you don’t talk to them anymore. One day you are in party having fun, the next one you are isolated from the social world. One day you feel pretty and confidence, the next one your self-esteem drops to the level of the floor. The saying “you never appreciate something till you lose it” is so true. Back in 2011, I took many things for granted. Mainly my friends and my social life. Then I moved and lost contact with many. Now, I spent most of my weekends alone and at home. Sometimes, I go through the old pictures of my laptop and I remember the good times. And even if that photos make me feel sad, they are not only a remainder that I was once happy, or they don’t just give me hope for a better future: that photos motivate me to work to make friends not tomorrow, today.
So yeah, this is why I like photos. And before finishing, I must say that I also love how pictures can capture emotions, feelings and sensations. A simple smile shows happiness. Tears shows sadness. A red face shows embarrassment. A hug shows tenderness. A kiss shows love. I find this quite fascinating. And when I’m in the picture, it is weird going back and thinking about how I felt when the photo was taken. And how different I feel now. Or how similar. Images are one of my favourite inventions.
Sharing a short personal reflection I wanted to let out,
Emilie H. Featherington J