Photographic Memories

My name is Samantha Gray and I am a photo-holic.  Phew, feels so good to say that. I just love photos! If I’m not taking them, I’m looking at them or I’m browsing Facebook at random photos!

Remember how I said that after my holiday, it was mainly the thought of the photos that kept me going? Well today was the day! I picked up 300 photos… no I didn’t get that snap happy of the Eiffel tower… these are from the whole year. Italy, nights out, olympic torch relay and of course the recent France trip. I was so excited to collect them so that I could spend the afternoon sorting frames, albums and mentally reliving the good times I have had this year.

When I’m looking through my photos, I always think the same thing. No not that I look good… or damn right stupid on some! But the fact there are so many random strangers on my photos…. hanging in the background thankyou very much, I am no stalker! It always makes me wonder, did they know they were in my Eiffel tower pic? Were they aware that they were in the distance of our drunken groupy photo? Did that man know that his head just blocked my view of that beautiful plant? And what’s more, how many photos out there do you think that you and I are in? Strange thought. I have seen a page on Facebook where people upload photos that don’t belong to them… like if they have found photos or memory cards. Then if people recognise the photos they can claim them back. I found a memory card once. It was when I worked for Woolworths and the shop was closing down. I found an SD memory card behind a dusty shelving unit. I checked it out and it had some cruise photos on of a middle-aged couple. I never did anything about it, partly because I didn’t know what I could do but mainly because there was no telling how long it had been there and I thought the couple would have given up their photographic search by then, sadly. Anyway, I think there should also be a Facebook page or website when people can post their own photos of randomers and see if anyone recognises themselves. What photo fun!

So, why do we take photos? Because we all like to stand in a freeze frame next to random monuments, giving a wide grin and muttering ‘cheese’ whilst secretly thinking – ‘Take the damn photo’? Noo. It’ s because we want memories. Physical evidence of our happy moments. Not the sad and unhappy ones. Note that we never say mid-fight with our loved one, ‘hang on a mo love, just getting the camera – give it the finger for me. I really want to remember this argument!’ How funny would that be? Because, it is all our moments and memories, good and bad, that create who we are and get us where we are today. Taking photos and keeping albums is a way of selecting certain memories to remember… zooming in on those events that we want to….and deleting those we aren’t so keen on.

Like I said in an older post Adieu Internet , I actually like to print my photos off because I don’t like the fact that my photos are just on social networking sites. What if they close down taking all my memories with it? Don’t get me wrong, I upload photos to Facebook and couldn’t wait to put the one of me with the Eiffel tower as my profile pic! But I mainly get excited about the hard copies. Like I said, I’ve had a busy afternoon and created two collage frames; each one dedicated to the famous monuments I have climbed (read about them in I-fell off the Tower!). I also completed a collage album of our recent holiday and put all the nights out ones in one too. Great fun! I have a whole cabinet of photo albums and I have to say they are probably my most prized possession (along with my teenage diaries) and the first thing I would save from a fire (though I doubt I could even carry half!) They go back as far as primary school and I love looking through them. Either alone or with a group of friends. They always bring back many stories because that visual aid takes us back to that same time and place. I actually have one photo where I was at my GBF’s ‘dinner party’ (we were only 15 and thought we were really grown up) and we all got a bit tipsy! Couldn’t handle the alcohol back then 😉  – anyway this photo caught the exact split second of me falling over into a chair. The second after the camera had clicked I was on the floor in pain with some cracked ribs. Ouch. I would probably never remember that if I didn’t have that photo.

My point really then is that none of have photographic memories. We can’t remember every detail of every event. Probably because our memories these days are taken up with pin numbers, passwords and log-ins – argh all these numbers! We need photos to relive the past. I always dream of sharing all my albums with my children one day – probably boring the nappies off them! It’s like when a song reminds us of a certain time. We remember where we were and who we were with and what we were doing. They give us our memories, memories which we then pass onto those younger than us – isn’t that the whole point of life? Living it and telling it.

I suppose we do sometimes take our own mental photographs of times when something happened. Flashbulb memory they call it in Psychology. Like when Princess Diana died. I remember we were getting into the car that morning and my Dad turned on the radio and we found out like that. I was only 13. Or when 9/11 happened. Funnily enough though I don’t remember when I found out about that – it must have been when I got home from school that day. What I do remember though, clear as a photograph, is standing in yr11 geography doing a minute silence for it a few days or a week later.

So cherish your photographs, they are a part of what you have done and who you are. As long as you don’t spend too long looking at them and live in the past ; get out there and live so that you can take some more!

To finish, here is one of my ‘randomer’ photos off holiday – if anyone recognises anyone then let me know!

Can you see yourself??

 

 

 

 

See you tomorrow,

XSXS