There comes a time in our lives when someone we love passes away.
It can be such emotional turmoil, re-living sweet memories, experiencing such sorrow. Then comes the often stressful time when you plan for the funeral – and need to dig out hundreds of forgotten photographs, dusty and faded with age – each image telling the story from some part of their life.
My Grandma passed way on Christmas Eve – we believe it was so that she could have a joyful Christmas with my Grandpa who left us many years ago. Christmas day is all about family, reuniting, sharing around the love and laughter. Surprisingly, mine was too.
With a funeral to plan in a few days we needed images to scan for a slideshow. So there we sat, next to The Tree, surrounded by hundreds of photographs, some at least a century old.
When I was little, I was fascinated by photography and images. I’d sit on Grandma’s knee as she turned the pages of her albums. From when I was tiny I knew and appreciated the importance of these physical memories. I like to think that spending Christmas smiling and filtering through all of the cherished moments from Grandma’s and her family’s lives, was her gift to me.
We carefully opened the creaky dust covered albums of various family member’s weddings, some photos slipping out of their holdings. I’d turn them over to see Grandma’s scrawl of a name and date. Then I discovered their own wedding album – matted and bound into a beautiful leather album from England, many moons ago. The black and white photographs within were preserved perfectly and their smiles radiated out at us.
It was at that moment, as I thumbed the worn edges I felt complete realisation – this is why we do what we do. To capture, produce and preserve memories for not only this life, but for the generations to come. When the day comes that they are no longer around, their loved ones can smile as they re-live memories through those enclosed in the treasured albums.
All too often we hear from people only wanting digital files – and we can understand that some wish to share them with their friends and family on Facebook, or be able to go and print them at their local lab. Some can only afford the wedding and photography, and can’t actually invest in an album at that time. Some do not wish to invest in professional photography at all – but they can shell out for the expensive dress, cake, venue, flowers and any other item that is only beautiful for that day alone. But after the day, what happens to them – really? Photography allows those memories live on.
When we capture someone’s wedding, it is more than just a job for us. We spend weeks getting excited and envisioning the big day. We take in all the details with our lens and feel like part of their lives, being invited to capture their most sacred and intimate days. To watch their eyes light up when our photography is finally revealed to them – it’s the most precious thing.
So I am going to say this – it breaks our hearts when we talk with people who do not believe in the importance of a hand crafted album. Let alone, never intend to do anything with their photos other than put them online. The same goes for portrait shoots. Files by themselves are for this era. This snap-them-upload-them-share-them-forget-them era. I would love to hear one person say that an image on a screen can trigger the same emotions as holding a printed photograph of a loved one that has been cherished for so many years.
We got married last year and I regret to say we had a pathetic budget for our wedding day – it really was tiny. But we were totally prepared to pay for amazing photography, even if it meant there was no cake, no feast, no elaborate details. It could have just been us, family and our photographers for all we cared. Our photographers were the talented Lauren and Delwyn Project, they helped create memories that will be shared with our children, and our childrens’ children.
Of course, we had to create an album, and what better than a Queensberry, handcrafted here in NZ. We’re so proud to offer these to our own clients. This album sits on our coffee table, we’ve had it less than a year, and I have looked at it hundreds of times, I’m probably running out of people to show it to… But I look at it, and it still brings a tear to my eye, something that need not be stored away and forgotten.
Forgive me if I have offended, it was not my intention at all. If you feel I am getting too caught up in what I believe in, too bad. That is what drives us. This post is merely an example of the essence behind our photography, our morals and reason for doing what we do. The reason why our art means so much to us.
Much love ~ Katrina