They say that you don't really understand the full importance of photograph until it is all you have left. Back in December 2014 when my Grandad Peter passed away, it was all an unbelievable shock. I hadn't really experienced the full force of a family member passing away, as I was too young to even comprehend it on previous occasions. Unfortunately since my Grandad passed away, me and my partner Laura have lost 5 people from our lives within 26 months. A Grandad, a Grandma, a Nan, a friend, and most recently I lost my Father. 5 people in just over 2 years.
If there is one positive I can take from it all, it's that I have started to learn the importance of a photograph. Whether it's a posed family photo or a candid moment, it all counts and every moment matters. Back in December 2014 I scrambled for the photos I took of my Grandad Peter. I came to the realisation that the most powerful ones I took of him were on a random day in February earlier that year. There wasn't any real reason for it, and they didn't even take me 5 minutes to get. Yet those photos will now stay with me and my family for decades to come. Real family treasures.
The same situation applied recently on January 26th 2017, when my Father lost his battle with lung cancer. Once again, I scrambled for the photos I took of him over the years, as well as his last days in hospital. All of them important. All of them special. Yet, there's nothing in the world that allows you to go back and get a few more. That's the moment when you realise the importance of a photograph.
My father was always laid back, never took himself too seriously, got on with everybody, had an infectious character and loved his family to bits. I'm really glad I was able to capture photos of his personality. Today, we gave him a great send off with a funeral that featured songs from The Beatles instead of hymns, most notably 'In My Life' right at the end. It felt like a celebration of life rather than a funeral, which I think is quite important. I've put together a small selection of photos that I took of my Father over the last 6 years. Whether he was in the garden, making funny faces at my mom, or spending his last days in hospital, I consider them all important. The camera is the only tool that allows you to 'stop time' in life, so If there's anything you should go and do this week, it's go out and take photos of your loved ones.
Thanks for reading.