To be able to go back through a lifetime of images is truly amazing. Sharing images lately in a community that I am in, made me stop to realize all of the incredible experiences I’ve had in my life.
If you are ever questioning why you are creating more and more images, stop clicking the shutter for a bit and take a look back at what you’ve created so far.
Personally, photography started before I ever had my own camera. My mother was the memory recorder and always had a camera with her. As I have been sorting through bins of photographs, I realize that my grandmother or grandfather recorded their lives as well. On my dad’s side of the family, there are fewer images but we do still have photos of my dad from the early 40s.
I received my first camera when I was 10. That camera recorded family holidays, birthdays, numerous camping trips and of course our family vacations. When I received my very first official paycheck at 16, I bought a 35mm camera. The second item I purchased was a plane ticket. That pretty much sums up my life and how I’d like to live it.
What can going back through our images do for us?
Be more grateful
As I said, I’m so grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had. So much travel, site-seeing, family memories and yes, many moments when I traveled on my own as well. I realize not everyone has the opportunities I’ve had. But going back through images, no matter what your experiences are can open your eyes to the good things throughout your life.
Go back to appreciate what you have
Looking through old photos makes us appreciate what we still have in our lives. Whether it’s people, places, a piece of furniture or sites that no longer exist, we’re lucky to still have what we do. We are also lucky to have records of our families, where we lived and the world around us at different points in our lives.
Help us tell the stories of our lives and who we are
Sure, mostly this is done via online sharing these days, but I still have shelves of photo albums with so many stories in them. I love pulling them out randomly sometimes just to look at what I’ve done and seen.
Having photos of general day-to-day living, holidays and vacations makes it easy for me to realize many of the experiences I had growing up that helped shape me into the person I am today.
Go back to show your own growth
Not just photographically, but personally. We go on with our lives and sometimes forget those moments that changed us and helped make us who we are. Looking back through our images can nudge those memories out of hibernation.
And yes, we can also take a look at how far our photography has come. From the quick snaps of a Kodak Instamatic X-15 to my current Canon 6D. Some of the underlying themes and ways of seeing were always there, which is fun to realize as well.
So, the next rainy Sunday afternoon when you don’t have anything else to do, go back through some of your older images. Not sure what to do with all of those old albums, slides and boxes of photos? Check this out.