While going through my grandmother’s house the other day, I came across the last photo taken of my whole family on my grandfather’s side before he passed away. I teared up. I mean, it was the last photo taken with all of us in it. Remembering that night by just looking at this image was emotional for me. My grandfather’s side of the family have always been really close, so losing the patriarch of our family was hard on all involved. I did not take the photo home, but I just looked at it for a few seconds. I remembered all the great times I had with my grandfather and it made me realize all over again that I will never see or talk to him again.
Here’s what is so weird to me about photos. They’re inanimate objects—pieces of paper—but they have so much power over us and our feelings. For me, they make me nostalgic. They evoke many different feelings and emotions for many different people. They make us think and remember various points in our lives. I have countless photos at home of my family and friends, and I value and treasure every single one of them. Even the photos on my cell phone mean a lot to me. Granted, they are not all necessarily of people. I have multiple photos of me and my dog Dixie on my phone. Same goes for my kitten, Tigger.
One of my favorite pictures on my phone is of me giving Mickey Mouse a hug. That was taken when I was in Florida this past March. I know Mickey is a cartoon character, but he is one of, if not the most recognizable characters in the world. You’re damn right I am going to get a photo with him! So that was a happy memory photo. Not all photos are going to evoke joy, though. I have a photo on my phone of my grandfather and me when I was a kid. That gets me a little sad every time I look at it. Same with the photos of my old dog, Buster. I grew up with Buster and it was hard to lose him.
A lot of the photos I have are photos of me and my family. Family is so important to me and it is good to have visual memories of them after they are gone…something physical I can look at and think back on. Mentally it hurts to see some of those older pictures, but I still treasure them. The fact that a piece of paper can make us so emotional, to me, is nothing short of amazing. They can’t talk or move…unless you’re a wizard from Harry Potter. If that’s the case, PLEASE email me! Photos are stationary objects that help us remember and honor our pasts and our families and friends. At least, that’s what they are to me.
So I want to hear from you. How do photos make you feel and what do you think they evoke? And why? Thanks for reading!