Just One Image
I am always lecturing people about the importance of images, about the importance of photographing your family and the importance of actually doing something with those images. It is only natural for me to preach these things since I am a portrait photographer. Photographing people is my life. I spend more time with babies and children than the average person. I live the lives of hundreds of individuals as I see through their eyes on their wedding day, when their baby is born, when their family begins to grow. I watch the joy on their faces after seeing the photographs from a session. I recognise the importance of capturing such a crucial moment in their lives.
It is amazing how looking at a particular photograph can take us back to that exact time in our lives, much like a smell or song can. We remember how it felt, we recognise what that smile on our face represented. Without having this image, how would we ever remember that feeling?
My walls of my home are filled with photographs and art. A lot of the images are taken by me on my travels or of my family. A lot of the portraits may seem to be an odd choice to display to the untrained eye but for me, when I look at the photos I am taken back into time.
I was recently cleaning my apartment, dusting off shelves and picked up this framed photograph. Suddenly I was taken back to Christmas time, December 2005. It is not a particularly flattering photo of any of us but there we are. My Mom, my Aunt, my two sisters and I. The photo was taken at my Aunt’s house in Kingston where we spent our last Christmas together. Seven months later practically everything was changed. I see our smiles and I remember how it felt at the moment the shutter clicked. We had just been told that Abby was expecting. In July my amazing niece, Li’l K would be born. We were excited. I was going to become Auntie Jess. Three months from this photo being taken, my Dad would leave my Mom. Two months from that time, my sister Emily would move to Mexico. Looking back, the year after this photo was taken was probably one of the toughest in my life. It was filled with so much emotion. But looking at this image, I see our happy faces. We have no idea what is waiting for us down the road. For that moment, we are together as one.
As a photographer, you can never underestimate the power that your images may have later on. You must recognise the importance of using your camera as a tool. And you must remember that that image will stir that moment back to the subjects in it. So always make the picture-making experience a positive and meaningful one.