The Importance Of Photographs

Submitted By MrAugust1
Words: 985
Pages: 4

Photographs and Their Meanings A great way to describe photos is by saying the simple sentence “they are simply a crude statement of fact addressed to the eye” (Source G). Photographs may allow a person a glimpse at a moment that was frozen in time, but they do not allow a person to truly experience the memories and emotions that are tied to this photo. In the past people didn’t rely on photos to remember things like ancestors or those that had long since passed, or an event that happened in their family history. They would either experience things first hand or be told stories of the important things in need of remembrance. Having a mother who is a professional photographer has taught me about the true meaning of taking photos: to record a photo that can be looked upon later in life in order to remember that event. Currently almost everyone has some sort of camera that they can take pictures with whenever they like for purposes like a ‘selfie’ or to Instagram a picture of their plate of food from a restaurant and this abuse of photography on public forums has led society to forget the true meaning of photography In order to feel something in that has happened in history, a person needs to be able to feel the emotions that others felt, see the things that others saw, and know what really happened. When I scroll through my Facebook feed I see picture after picture of girls who had ‘that perfect selfie’ moment, and I wonder to myself what the real purpose of it is. There is no real meaning behind these photos, not like a photo that could be taken on the day a senior graduated or a photo of a newborn baby that was taken in remembrance of the younger years. Too often a photo is just an initial record of something, a slim description, and is commonly just the tip of a memory that hides the overall meaning of the photo itself (Source C). This barrier that blocks our vision from the underlying meaning of a picture can lead a person astray from what the photographer meant when they hit that shutter button and froze a moment in time. A memory is not something that can be created with a quick snapshot of a person or event, a memory is something that a person physically witnessed and can draw from their mind details on this subject whenever they want. The only true way to have a memory of something is to be present at the point in time that it happens, so thousands of years memories have been trapped in the mind of the person who had witnessed them; then the camera was invented (Source A). The camera allowed others to view what had been memories of others who had not been present at the time, which qualifies the fact that they had not been there when the photo was taken, so they weren’t witnessing the whole memory itself. Then there are the photographers who live to do their work, by this I mean that they experience themselves in what they see through that camera lens (Source B). People like this are people who know the true meaning of photos and the memories that they can hold. The process of looking at a photo that someone else had taken is similar to a person verbally recollecting something that had occurred and the story teller leaving out main details. Many people do not get a chance to meet their great-great grandparents. If they do they are very young, so the only real way for a person to remember them or know who they were would