Why Pictures Make Life Awesome

Pictures help you return, remember and write.

Pictures help you return, remember and write.

I’m not one for taking constant pictures.

I’ll leave that to the Facebook and Pinterest junkies who flood my feeds with pictures of their meals. I would rather spend my time soaking up the atmosphere. I would rather sit on a mountain top staring at the frosty tip of the Matterhorn, with nothing but the sound of silent air and the occasional tumble of snow.

But there are moments in my life that I wish I could better remember. Moments in which I should have taken a more thorough mental picture or actually pulled out my phone and snapped a photo.

I believe that 99% of your time should be spent absorbing your surroundings, but you should also take a second to snap a photo afterwards.

Why?

So You Can Do It Again

A photo of my grandma’s old lake house always makes me want to go back and visit. It brings back memories of watching fireworks on the pontoon boat, catching frogs in the neighbor’s swamp and building couch cushion forts inside when it rained.

Today I look at my recent trips to Italy and Switzerland. The gargantuan Swiss mountains and rocky Italian oceanfront makes me want to get up and go back right now. Pictures relay a reminder to slow down and experience life. They prompt you to return to places or spend time with friends and family again and again. Pictures call you back to a place or time that changed your life. They put your job, money and physical objects low on the list of important items in life.

Remembrance

You never realize how important photos are until someone passes. A recent funeral, with photo boards, reminded me how awesome my great uncle was. The photos reminded me of his funny white hair, his lifelong dedication to his six kids (three of which weren’t his, but he took in as his own) and the smoked salmon he served with Thanksgiving dinner every year.

Photos provide a hint of what was once there before. They bring back feelings of love, happiness and even sorrow.

To Write

Everyone should write. It serves as therapy – calming your nerves and extracting creativity. My friend writes a travel journal to document everywhere she goes. She admits that she usually doesn’t read the entries ever again, but they put her at peace while abroad. They help her remember the small intricacies of her trips. Writing puts her in a mindset to slow down. To stop stressing about the next activity on the itinerary, and to simply absorb her surroundings, and think about the history of people, events and culture that make the place special. Mental photos help her recollect those experiences for writing later, and actual photos slide right into each one of those pages to remind her that one day she will return.

Pictures also help to structure poetry and stories. A quality scene in a novel contains exquisite details about the location and atmosphere of the situation. Every time I write a science fiction short story, I pull out pictures from my past to get in touch with my senses and remember real locations, smells, sights and sounds.

A picture makes life more fun. It brings happiness and joy and reminders to always maintain a youthful mindset.

Let me know in the comments how you use pictures to make yourself happier.

Set up a self-hosted WordPress blog in 10 minutes or less by watching my step-by-step video tutorial. Get your words out to the world and take full control of your blog. I recommend using BlueHost web hosting. It is the only hosting service I personally recommend, and I use it for this site! Learn moreā€¦.

About Joe Warnimont

I am a writer, marketing expert and adventure seeker. I help people write, market their writing, live truthfully and embrace their lives through creativity. You can find me riding my bike around the streets of Chicago. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Comments

  1. I’m linking to my family history website for this comment. I decided that even though a picture is worth a thousand words, it is worth a lot more if you can find it and get to it. So I’ve been scanning my family photos and taking some Sunday afternoons and evenings to organize them, and adding comments while there is still someone who at least remembers some of the stories they tell. One of the amazing benefits of this was that I started reaching out to cousins I hadn’t seen for decades. I’m now in touch with family I thought I had been too long separated from to ever be close to again. But through sharing photos on this website and posting links on Facebook, I am part of a big family again.

  2. I think that the intertwining of pictures and memories is the main fascination for me. And the fact that things that we remember are sometimes not as they were. I have a very, very early memory of myself at 18 months old being put down on the footpath outside our home. It was twilight, and the pine trees growing next to the road were spooky and tall dark shapes… And I remember my parents walking away.
    What they were doing was walking away to take a photo of me, not abandoning me. My mother is even in the background of that shot, if I look at it closely. I keep this photo and bring it out when I feel I’m being too certain about my own version of things. It serves as a reminder that our version is just that: our story. What was happening from other viewpoints may be completely different.

  3. What I enjoy about photos and videos is sharing them with my friends and family. Some of us are far flung so when I taught the dog how to roll over I made a short video and sent it to people who love her as much as we do.

  4. Just found your blog and it’s different from your normal “how to write, blog and build traffic” website. A lot more human. And some great tips and inspirations.

    I’m not a great photo taker but just about to get myself a better phone and so there will be no excuse for me after that. We are lucky to have the facility to document our lives so easily these days.

  5. I don’t take photos of everything I see, but I definitely agree that they have a useful and essential point in our lives. When my mum passed away last year, of course we had a lifetime of memories, but with the use of photos, we were able to share her life with other friends who only shared in parts of her life, and by way of photos, got to appreciate her whole life. It would be sad if a life passed with no documented history of that life. So, click, click, click!

  6. This post reminded me of lyrics from a John Mayer song:
    Didn’t have a camera by my side this time
    Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
    Maybe I will tell you all about it when I’m
    in the mood to lose my way
    but let me say
    You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
    it brought me back to life
    You’ll be with me next time I go outside
    No more 3×5’s
    I’ve had a camera in my hands a lot this summer, but on a recent trip to the Oregon coast I put it down and just soaked in the stunning vista, the swirling ions, the freshest air on the planet, and the joy in children and dogs experiencing the beach on a stunning end of summer day.
    I do wish I’d had a blog when my kids were little. I think it’s a perfect way to collect and chronicle the fleeting early days.
    I agree that your “business” blog is a warm and human place to visit.
    Thanks for the tips.

  7. So true!!!! Love this article!
    I try to keep pictures of every out-door moment of my life!

  8. Yes, there is something special about a picture! When at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens with my daughter and baby grandson yesterday, I was unhappy about the amount of time mommy spent snapping picture after picture of the incredibly beautiful trees in their autumn splendor as well as shots of flowers, fish, and ducks. Why not spend more time simply enjoying the marvelous weather, the lovely surroundings, and the little guy? However, when she showed me her photos today, I was in awe. Who knew a fly on a rose could be so enchanting, or a fish with its mouth open at the water’s surface so fascinating? This nature-loving grandma finally appreciated the time my daughter spent making photographic memories of a memorable day. I’ve also been known to catch a little crab on the beach
    or an awesome sunset on camera. My own blog is (I hope) made more attractive by a photo or two or three.