Episode 043: Why Bother with Photos?


What makes you take a photo? What is your why? In this episode, I explore a few examples of why you should bother with photos.

Listen to the full podcast episode here:

Read a transcript of the podcast:

Hello, and welcome to the Photographs in a Shoebox Podcast with me, Sue Kennedy.

In today’s episode, I wanted to chat through the question of why bother with photographs? Why is taking photos so important?

Keep the memory alive

I guess the obvious response is that images can keep the memory of a loved one alive. They can hold that moment or that memory in history for future generations. Photography is the universal language that speaks to the heart.

I often ask people, when they’re enquiring about a photography session with me, why they want one, and I don’t do that to be awkward. But to understand how I’m gonna customise that session for them, because there is a huge variety of reasons as to why people might want photographs taken professionally, and the same would apply in a more informal setting. There is a reason we get the phone out and take a photograph.

And it differs, for everybody. When I ask, “why do you want photographs taken, of your baby?” For example, I will get a variety of answers. Some of them will be very considered, thought through, and clearly heartfelt and then others give much quicker responses.

Possibly they’ve never thought about why these photographs will be important now or down the line. Clients just know that they want to do some photographs, or perhaps they just don’t really want to answer the question. They want to be private about it, but know they know why they’re doing it. They are just surprised by the question.

I also think that when you are talking to your children about a relative who has passed away, it seems a bit more real to them. If you have some photographs to share with them, as well as the stories that you might tell them, the funny moments or the shared memories that you have.

As the evidence, we’ve been somewhere/done something

Nowadays we take photos almost to prove that we’ve visited somewhere, eating at that restaurant for example. I guess in that sense, not much thought has gone into the process. It’s a take a quick photo and move on, possibly post it on social media, possibly just leave it on the camera roll forever.

In the days of film, you had a limited number of exposures on the film and, you considered what to photograph more because you were always limited by how many roles of film you had with you. So I wonder whether, in the days of film, that made us appreciate the photographs that we were taking a little bit more, and with the abundance of digital photography, have we taken them for granted?

I think we live in a world where everybody has access to a camera. Certainly, if they’ve got a phone, and pictures are just constantly being taken, then that begs the question, how many do you see regularly?

For wellbeing

So you might have hundreds on your phone or your computer, but which ones do you enjoy every day? Studies have shown that when people review photographs on their phone, it triggers that feeling of, you know, positive emotions and it strengthens our memory and our relationships. And it’s a good reminder, of, you know, the people, the places, and activities that we love, as well as helping us to remember things that have gone in, in the past. And I’m sure photographs have been used to solve a few arguments as well 🙂

So basically it’s shown to reduce our stress and basically enhance our overall mood and wellbeing.

Printing may seem unnecessary, but it’s a great way to enjoy your photographs. There is nothing like holding a printed photograph in your hand. Research has shown that having those real photographs, the prints in your home is important to us.

I think they should bring us joy. That’s the role of family photographs, to walk past them every day, you know, smile at them, have a chat with them, or am I just crazy? Photographs, not only capture a moment in time, but they capture the emotions of that moment as well.

Looking at old photos is as relaxing as meditation

I did hear this, this interesting thought that, looking at old photos was, as relaxing as meditation, and I can see how that would happen. I will often just take photographs for fun, of nice moments, sometimes flowers or views that I’ve seen.

My husband will joke that it’s because I want to stop walking and I need to catch my breath. So I find something to photograph, but I am often drawn to photographing a little piece of nature. Then when I come home, I feel a little bit more grounded and calmer, so I can, you know, easily see how looking at old photographs, would, would have that effect and be relaxing for people.

I hope that this resonates with you and I would love to hear your thoughts, on why you bother to take photographs because I think it is different for everybody. When it becomes something that you feel you should do it has possibly tipped into the wrong motivation level, but you know, without these memories it’s, it is harder to explain things to people.

And, you know, I love the moments when people are researching their family trees and the story comes alive for them. When they’re shown a picture, that matches the explanation of the family tree. From the look on their faces, it makes all the difference.

That’s all for this episode. I hope you’ve enjoyed listening along. Do give this podcast a like, and follow on your preferred player and it would be great. If you left me a review, I’d love to hear what you think about the show.

Quote Photography is the art of making memories tamgible
Portrait of Essex Baby photographer Sue Kennedy
Sue Kennedy

About Your Podcast Host – Sue Kennedy of Sue Kennedy Photography

Sue is a professional portrait photographer based in Harlow, Essex and she specialises in baby, child and family portraiture. Being a parent, she understands just how special your child is to you and her aim is to produce a collection of images that are natural and meaningful to your family. No two moments are ever the same and she wants to perfectly capture those early precious memories and the natural character of your child.

For more information please call 01279 433392, or visit the Sue Kennedy Photography website.

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portrait of sue kennedy photographer

I'm Sue

and I am dedicated to helping you share your family’s story through beautiful natural photographs.



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