Memories: Take Your Megapixels and Throw Them Out the Window

Self Portrait in Lavender

Here on The Phoblographer, we are advisors that try to give our audience the best advice we possibly can. Though we are a mostly gear and technique oriented blog, there is something very special that we don’t teach you and that no amount of schooling in the world will teach you until you pick up your camera, go shoot, and look at the results.

And at this point you’re probably wondering, “Chris, what the hell are you talking about?”

Background

See that photo above? That’s me at 14: I’m 24 now.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of my being a bassist and a guitarist—or at least pretending to be since my passion is punk rock. What’s with the poor image quality? It was shot with my old phone when I was much younger and to this day remains to be one of the most important photos of me I believe I’ve ever seen. Why? Because as a young adult I’m always busy with friends, work, photography, personal projects, exploring, chores, battling the sock monster in the dryer, etc. I rarely play my guitar or my bass anymore and I haven’t even written a song since my sophomore year of college.

Without these photos, there is no memory of who I am…or who I was. Deep inside of me, that musician didn’t die: he evolved into a photographer and the song writing skills evolved into journalism.

Memories

The point is that if we don’t record these memories, we’ll forget them. These memories can be recorded with any camera: your phone, your point and shoot, your DSLR, your Nintendo DSi, etc. Forget how many megapixels there are or the high ISO noise: capture the moment that was there.

The photos you capture are only as good as you make them to be. It’s not all about photoshopping, or active D Lighting, or art: but more about keeping our past alive through photos.

So when you capture and document memories, pay attention to what’s important to the image. Is it the teenager being so into his instrument while playing? Is it the older musician looking stressed out from years of playing and barely clinging to his guitar?

At your father’s wake, no one is going to sit there and comment on how noisy the images shown on the projector are. They’re going to comment on the memories because that is what is important. And for personal photography, that is all that is important.

What memories of yourself do photos help you to keep alive? Share your thoughts in the comments below and if you want to, share some of your photos with us on our Flickr group.