One of the great regrets of my life is that I only have a few photographs of my Dad. I was only 19 years old when he died, and he was always the one behind the lens.
These days I am the one behind the lens, and like many people, I really dislike having my photograph taken. But, because of losing my Dad so young, I have made a conscious effort to have my photograph taken, both on my own and with my two precious children. When I’m gone I want them to have plenty of visual ways to remember me. They won’t care whether my hair and makeup were done, or whether I was pulling a silly expression. They’ll just be happy to have the memories. I know this for certain because that’s how I feel about the few precious photos I own of my Dad and me.
It is a sentiment echoed this week by Professor Green in his brand new single with Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Photographs. In the song he writes:
We all thought we’d live forever
We all thought that the moments would last
But the moments don’t last, the moments pass
And the only thing that lasts is the photograph
But what about the pictures we didn’t take?
What about the moments that we forget?
What about the memories that we’ve lost?
That only leave you full of feelings and regret
Over the people we neglected
And the time we took for granted
When all you can do is close your eyes
And hope that the memories develop in the darkness
Like photos do, I wish I had a time-machine and a photo-booth
I know to grow I’ve got to learn to let go
But I just wish that I had something I could hold on to.
The song has also spawned a hashtag – #wishthatitookmorephotographsofus – and Professor Green has been encouraging his fans to post pictures of the people they wished they had more photographs of. The single features a photograph of Prof Green – aka Stephen Manderson – as a baby with his father, who committed suicide when the rapper was 24. He wrote on Instagram recently: “Photographs conjure up so many different emotions, the ones I miss the most are the ones I never took.”
“We didn’t realise through being so open about our losses we’d create an online community where we can all share our cherished photographs and grieve together,” he wrote.
“I’ve read stories that have brought me to tears and seen pictures that have made me smile through them.”
So please, think about getting photographs of your loved ones while they are still around to be photographed. And while you’re at it, make sure your own loved ones have plenty of photographs of you to look back on and cherish. It’s so so important.
At Studio G we’re all about creating and protecting your memories. Why not talk to us about your photographic legacy?