Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Power of Photography

(Please note: I would love to share the image referenced below, but I do not have the permission of the family and refuse to intrude upon their privacy at this time. I hope you understand, and can still gain value from the words alone)

I guess I shouldn’t be anymore, but I am continually amazed at how photography can bring people together and touch the lives of others in both simple and profound ways.

My photography club held a field trip to record a unique local area called the Cultural Gardens last spring, and subsequently formed an alliance with the organization that oversees its growth and maintenance to use our images to help promote visibility of this beautiful cultural amenity. Several of our photos were printed and framed and auctioned by the Federation as a fund-raiser – and one of those images was a photo of a smiling woman and her mother, posed outside the India Garden.

Word came today that the woman in the image was tragically killed in a car accident last week – and the photo was given to her family and displayed at the funeral home as a memento of happier times. It helped to bring healing at a time of profound loss – and will help to keep her memory alive for years to come.

Photography can be many things beyond the alchemy of art and science swirled together to capture a moment in time. It can touch lives and bring healing long after the image is made - and we never really know the potential impact of the next click of the shutter.



Jeanie said...

What a sad but touching story.
May God bless her soul.


Jeannette said...

I agree with this so much. My daughter died 17 years ago; last year her daughter, my grand daughter, gave me a wonderful photo of her smiling and looking so happy. Even though I was really upset on seeing it at first it has brought great comfort to have it now. My condolences go to the family in the story. Jeannette xx

ADB said...

After my mother died unexpectedly last May, I found great solace in gathering all pictures I could find of her. Bears out your point, I'd say.

Vicki said...

Rob, your touching story is so typical, and something we frequently forget. A photographer friend told me once about shooting a fundraiser for a church (we've all had those done) and one family never bought their package. He was contacted shortly after to ask if he had the photos. Apparently the family lived in an area of NJ where the roads were a bit treacherous and had a car accident. I'm not sure if any survived, but he gave the photos to the remaining family and they were very grateful. We really do have a way of touching the lives of others.

Vicki said...

One more thing...if anyone doubts the power of photography in people's lives, check out "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" ( This is an amazing service offered free of charge for which parents are eternally grateful.

Lisa said...

This entry is sad yet powerful, I had a chill when I read how the photograph touched the family. I cling to my photographs. Sometimes gently running my finger over the face of one who has passed can bring me great comfort.

MariesImages said...

This is why I bring my camera to EVERY family function. You never know when it will be the last image of any one person.
My most valued possessions besides my family are photographs of my family.
My kids don't realize why their mother is so annoying with her camera....;(

Thanks Rob for posting this~


Michelle said...

Yes... sometimes, we just need something to hold on to.

Most of the time, we don't even realize it, when we're out searching for that "perfect" shot, just how much we have the ability to touch another human being with our photographs. I know how much my photos mean to me, and how much the people, places and events IN those photos make up the spaces in my heart. Photos help keep memories alive.

Thank you for sharing this sad yet heartfelt story.

Amelia said...

It's amazing how art in all types of forms can bring people together and give them hope.


Anonymous said...

I'm just the same with taking photos of everyone all the time. I love my photos and I save everyone of them! My photos and my art!

Maria said...

ok..let's try this again...the embedding is not working as well so I will have to leave two links to make sure...

Crab for Dinner


Maria said...

Ok..this is another can delete my other ones if this one works! FOOD